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:
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.