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A striking fourty-four Republicans have cosponsored a bill in the Minnesota House that would block businesses and other employers from providing gender-neutral restrooms or from enacting policies that allow transgender employees to use appropriate restrooms. The bill, like one introduced in the Minnesota Senate on Friday, amends the Minnesota Human Rights Act, the nation’s first nondiscrimination law barring discrimination based on gender identity.

HF 3374 and its identical counterpart HF 3395 defines “sex” as “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 prohibits employers as well as schools and universities from having gender-inclusive policies. While it allows for single occupancy gender neutral facilities, it would block all-gender restrooms and would prevent transgender people from using the appropriate restroom even if an employer has inclusive policies.

The bill was introduced by Republican Reps. Glenn Gruenhagen of Glencoe, Tim Miller of Prinsburg, Abigail Whelan of Anoka, Cindy Pugh of Chanhassen, Peggy Scott of Andover, Kathy Lohmer of Stillwater, Bruce Vogel of Elko-New Market, Dennis Smith of Maple Grove, Jim Knoblach of St. Cloud, Bud Nornes of Fergus Falls, Mary Franson of Alexandria, Jeff Backer of Browns Valley, Mark Uglem of Champlin, Joe McDonald of Delano, Brian Daniels of Faribault, Matt Dean of Dellwood, Steve Drazkowski of Mazeppa, Josh Heintzman of Nisswa, Linda Runbeck of Circle Pines, Jim Newberger of Becker, Ron Kresha of Little Falls, Jim Nash of Waconia, Dave Baker of Willmar, Bob Barrett of Taylor’s Falls, Chris Swedzinski of Ghent, Eric Lucero of Dayton, Dave Hancock of Bemidji, Bob Dettmer of Forest Lake, Debra Keil of Crookston, Bob Gunther of Fairmont, Tony Albright of Prior Lake, Mark Anderson of Lake Shore, Tony Cornish of Vernon Center, Dan Fabian of Roseau, Jerry Hertaus of Greenfield, Jason Rarick of Pine City, Paul Anderson of Starbuck, Greg Davids of Preston, Joyce Peppin of Rogers, Kelly Fenton of Woodbury, Tim Sanders of Blaine, Jon Koznick of Lakeville, Sarah Anderson of Plymouth, and Jeff Howe of Rickville.

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Andy Birkey
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, Vita.mn 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.

13 COMMENTS

  1. Sign we need better science education in MN. The line “A person’s sex is either male or female as biologically defined,” has not been valid for decades. There are not only xy and xx “sexes” but also xyy, xxy, xxx, many variations on that, not to mention people’s internalized mental sexual orientation.

    Of course, the bottom line is fear and ignorance should not be used to create legislation.

  2. I think the reference numbers are off, HF 3374 is about family planning. HF 3395 and 3396 are the House bills

  3. Andy, fourty-four? Did you mean “forty-four”? People who can’t spell have less credibility, with me.

  4. @anonymous – maybe he’s using the Middle English spelling, because that’s the last time the GOP updated their social values.

  5. […] HF3396 is 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. […]

  6. […] HF3396 is 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. […]

  7. Fear is never a tool to use for manipulation, but neither is imposing the perceived privilege of a few to be pushed upon the whole using rhetoric of “fairness”. If fairness (political ” correctness”) is LGBT’s grounds of acceptance, then we should have 7 billion statutes so that nobody’s definition is left out. Fairness is for the emotionally immature. Do not confuse this with justice. Justice is not defined as what’s “fair”, but what is morally right. There is but one mediator to which justice is standardized. It is not manipulated by emotional tantrums of “I want my way, and if I don’t I will force you through statutes.” It’s time to take back our culture and stand upon Godly principles! Man’s legal process and immorally corrupt governance is incapable of such a task. It begins at home! So wake up parents, your children’s future is almost gone.

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