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.