Seventeen Republican members of the Minnesota House introduced a bill on Monday that would block transgender-inclusive school policies. The bill is identical to one introduced in the Minnesota Senate.
The bill, like Senate File 1543, would repeal the Minnesota State High School League’s transgender-inclusive high school athletics policy. That policy provided guidance to member schools that transgender students should have the ability to participate in extracurricular activities based on their gender. The bill would also block the St. Paul Board of Education’s proposed gender inclusion policy which would make school facilities accessible to transgender students.
House File 1546 was introduced by Tim Miller of Prinsburg, Eric Lucero of Dayton, Peggy Scott of Andover, Abigail Whelan of Anoka, Matt Dean of Dellwood, Drazkowski of Mazeppa, Jeff Backer of Browns Valley, Josh Heintzeman of Nisswa, Jim Newberger of Becker, Jason Rarick of Pine City, Dave Hancock of Bemidji, Linda Runbeck of Circle Pines, Brian Daniels of Faribault, Kathy Lohmer of Stillwater, Cindy Pugh of Chanhassen, Steve Green of Fosston, and Glenn Gruenhagen of Glencoe.
A second bill, House File 1547, was also introduced which is identical except leaves out language pertaining to the Minnesota State High School League’s transgender inclusive athletics policy.
The Minnesota Family Council, a group opposed to LGBT rights, praised the bill:
“We join Minnesota families around the state in saying a big ‘thank you’ to Representative Miller, Senator Brown, and their fellow leaders for hearing the concerns of families and working to protect the basic privacy and safety rights of all children. Children, and their parents, need to know that their safety and privacy rights will be protected, particularly when they are in intimate settings away from home,” John Helmberger, CEO for Minnesota Family Council said in a statement. “The Minnesota State High School League created an unworkable situation for schools and our female athletes when they passed their transgender policy. Now our Legislators are working to ensure that our female student athletes continue to have an opportunity to compete to win fairly and safely. This bill is simply common sense.”
Both the Senate and House bills were condemned by OutFront Minnesota, the state’s largest LGBT advocacy group.
“OutFront Minnesota strongly opposes this bill, as it would single out trans youth and permanently deny them the ability to take part in their school’s activities, and use the facilities,” Executive Director Monica Meyer said in a statement. “SF 1543 aims to require administrators to make decisions based on analysis of students’ anatomy and – believe it or not – their chromosomes! The bill’s sponsors speak of students’ privacy, while shamelessly eliminating it completely for transgender students.”
Here’s the email containing the statement from the Minnesota Family Council:
Here’s the email statement from OutFront Minnesota: