MN Republican lashes out at trans community, says gays can change orientation

Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen with his "ex-gay" friend
Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen with his “ex-gay” friend Kevin Peterson

Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen, well known for his invective against the LGBT community, renewed his call for legislation outlawing transgender-inclusive workplaces and schools on Wednesday. In a letter to the editor of several local papers, Gruenhagen also claimed that thousands of people have left the “homosexual lifestyle” and that “transgenders” should get counseling, not sympathy. The letter was first flagged by Sally Jo Sorensen at Bluestem Prairie.

Gruenhagen’s letter appeared in Crow River Media and the McLeod County Chronicle, two local media outlets serving communities about an hour southwest of the Twin Cities. The letter was mainly a reprint of an October email to constituents. Gruenhagen renewed his call for a bill to outlaw transgender-inclusive school policies, such as those adopted in the Minneapolis and St. Paul school districts. He also said he would introduce a bill outlawing transgender inclusive workplaces after a constituent told him she was “uncomfortable” using the same restroom as a fellow employee who is transgender.

But, Gruenhagen went further than he did with constituents last fall. At the end of his letter, he demonstrates a profound misunderstanding about both sexual orientation and gender identity while at the same time labeling transgender people as “confused” and needing “professional counseling.”

Finally, what the governor and many liberal DFLers want us to believe is that sexual orientation cannot be changed (even though thousands of individuals have left the homosexual lifestyle) but that gender can be changed, which is biologically impossible!
Transgenders need professional counseling and our help to clarify their confused feelings, not our misguided sympathies.
Please speak to your local school district about this issue as training programs have already started in Minnesota to indoctrinate educators with the false narrative of “gender fluidity.” For more information, see

Gruenhagen is perhaps the most anti-LGBT member of the Minnesota Legislature.

The Pro-Family Forum, formerly the Pro-Marriage Amendment Forum, was founded by Gruenhagen and “former homosexual” Kevin Peterson (In 2013, Gruenhagen announced his “former homosexual” friend on the floor of the Minnesota House as that body was taking up marriage equality).

The group held events in support of a failed constitution amendment to ban marriage equality, tried to block anti-bullying legislation with a bizarre video claiming that HIV is transmitted in sweat, and claimed credit for blocking a bill that would prohibit licensed therapists from trying to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of a minor.

Gruenhagen’s group placed an billboard in the Twin Cities metropolitan area last year that urged gays and lesbians to seek out “conversion therapy.”

Despite Gruenhagen’s invective, voters returned him to office with 64 percent of the vote in 2014.

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Andy Birkey has written for a number of Minnesota and national publications. He founded Eleventh Avenue South which ran from 2002-2011, wrote for the Minnesota Independent from 2006-2011, the American Independent from 2010-2013. His writing has appeared in The Advocate, The Star Tribune, The Huffington Post, Salon, Cagle News Service, Twin Cities Daily Planet, TheUptake, and much more. His writing on LGBT issues, the religious right and social justice has won awards including Best Beat Reporting by the Online News Association, Best Series by the Minnesota chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and an honorable mention by the Sex-Positive Journalism awards.


  1. Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen, if your wondering what a Blithering Idiot sounds like and looks like he is the Epitome of one. He shows as a very Ignorant Bigot, [What other kind is there] spewing hatred and lies to all who will listen. He totally obfuscates the Golden Rule as can be stated for him: Do not do to others that which you do not want done to you. It has a very good chance to Boomerang on you. As for Conversion therapy [Oxymoron if ever] you are years behind on its failure and demise.

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