In an email to constituents on Thursday, Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen, a Republican from Glencoe, announced that he was introducing legislation that would apparently target businesses with transgender-inclusive policies.
Gruenhagen begins by citing Dr. Paul McHugh, an anti-LGBT activist and conservative Catholic who has written numerous anti-transgender articles in recent years, all of which distort both the research on the transgender experience and the lived experiences of those who are transgender. Gruenhagen wrote:
According to Dr. Paul McHugh former chief of psychiatry at John Hopkins Hospital “transgenderism” is a mental disorder and trying to surgically change one’s gender is medically impossible. There is also research showing a significant number percent of individuals who change their mind and eventually grow out of these feelings, which is why there are delays of 12 months or more before certain permanent physical surgical changes are made.
Gruenhagen then claimed that anonymous constituents are “uncomfortable” with their transgender coworkers:
Instances have come up in Minnesota where individuals have attempted to use bathroom facilities in workplaces that aren’t their biological sex, making some employees uncomfortable. I’ve spoken with female employees who are too afraid to speak out and wonder about their rights in the workplace if they do not want men using women’s bathrooms. This has happened to a constituent of mine who works in the metro area. A man in her department has declared himself to be a women and wants to use the women’s bathroom.
“I plan to work on legislation next session that will protect the privacy of all individuals and our children’s safety in public schools, so people don’t find themselves in situations like this, worried about their privacy and fearful to speak to their employer.”
Gruenhagen has a long history of anti-LGBT activism. He co-founded the Pro-Family Forum, a group that advocates for conversion therapy, against marriage equality, and against anti-bullying legislation. The group created a video opposing LGBT-inclusive anti-bullying policies that included falsely claimed that HIV is transmitted via sweat.
Here is Gruenhagen’s full email: