MN GOP Senators want to block transgender employees from using the bathroom



Republicans in the Minnesota Senate introduced a bill on Friday that would block businesses and other employers from providing gender-neutral restrooms or from enacting policies that allow transgender employees to use appropriate restrooms. Senate File 3002 amends the 1993 Minnesota Human Rights Act — the nation’s first nondiscrimination law to include gender identity.

The bill starts with a specious definition of “sex.” It states, “A person’s sex is either male or female as biologically defined.” The bill does not mention people who fall outside the male-female binary such as those who are intersex, nor those whose sex designations have been legally changed under Minnesota law.

The bill then bans employers from creating policies that are gender-inclusive. In particular, employers may not take into account “nontraditional identity or ‘sexual orientation’” when developing gender-inclusion policies:

Subd. 11.
Employer restrooms, locker rooms, dressing rooms, and similar facilities.
The provisions of section 363A.11 relating to sexual orientation as defined in section 363A.03, subdivision 44, shall not apply to the employment of any individual with regard to facilities such as restrooms, locker rooms, dressing rooms, or other similar places. No claim of nontraditional identity or “sexual orientation” may override another person’s right of privacy based on biological sex in such facilities as restrooms, locker rooms, dressing rooms, and other similar places, which shall remain reserved for males or females as they are biologically defined.

Other than single-occupancy facilities, no employer shall permit access to restrooms, locker rooms, dressing rooms, and other similar places on any basis other than biological sex.

The bill also specifically includes public schools and universities in its language.

It was introduced by Republican Sens. Scott Newman of Hutchinson, Dan Hall of Burnsville, Dave Thompson of Lakeville, Michelle Benson of Ham Lake, and Paul Gazelka of Nisswa.

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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. So in other words, the Mall of America’s gender-neutral “Family Room”, a restroom where parents of either gender can bring their children regardless of gender, which has been in existence since the Mall’s opening in 1992 and never had an issue, would now suddenly be illegal under state law?

    Am I reading this correctly? The “family-friendly” GOP is banning “family rooms”?

  2. This is because there have been so many problems with restrooms in the state, right? All those complaints, just piling up…

    Oh wait…those complaints were about the conduct of politicians with wide stances, not about transgender men and women. But this law? It doesn’t mention banning politicians…or catholic priests…or christian preachers who have child porn on their computers…

    You have to wonder why…

  3. Living in Minnesota away from the Many Asinine GOP people across the country creating problems for Transgender people from where no problems existed before, by writing Bills such as this. We have here in Minnesota these four GOP Asinine Bigot, anti Human Rights Deniers.
    Senate File 3002, It was introduced by Republican Sens. Scott Newman of Hutchinson, Dan Hall of Burnsville, Dave Thompson of Lakeville, Michelle Benson of Ham Lake, and Paul Gazelka of Nisswa. Four Ignorant people wanting to deny one of the most necessary human rights, the need to pee. They are basing their stupidity on some bible statements totally obfuscating the fact that being Transgender is a Birth Anomaly, currently stated by the Medical community. They completely deny any scientific studies and now want to waste precious Minnesota Government Monies, and Time, on this Bill. The same Bills have failed in other states because of it’s stupidity, and anti Human Rights signifance. This is your Tax monies being wasted by BIGOTS who are not practising any Christian Values taught by Christ as they claim too. We have been using the public bathrooms in Minnesota for well over the years now [Just where do you think we were going to pee] with no problems, even standing in lines with well over thirty women with no difficulties. These people were elected to do good service to Minnesota Taxpayers and not bring their Bigotry into public office, and waste work time.

  4. Where parents with children are concerned it becomes an issue – does Dad bring his daughter into the men’s room or does he go into the ladies room? Women bring sons into the ladies room rather than send them alone into a men’s room. Why can’t all public spaces offer a “family” space that is handicap accessible, has a changing table and is Unisex.

  5. […] Newman is the chief author of SF3002, a bill that targets Minnesota’s longstanding ban on discrimination based on gender identity, enacted in 1993. It would block gender-inclusive policies at school districts and local municipalities and force transgender people to use a restroom that does not correspond to their gender — putting many transgender people at risk for discrimination and violence, according to research at UCLA’s Williams Institute. […]

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