The Minnesota Catholic Conference and the Minnesota Family Council are urging their supporters to head to the Minnesota State Fair to take a poll developed by the Minnesota House of Representatives that asks if transgender people should be banned from using public bathrooms.

In an “action alert” email on Thursday, the Minnesota Catholic Conference which is the policy arm of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis urged Catholics to take the poll.

“If you are attending the State Fair, we strongly encourage you to participate in these polls and let your voice be heard,” MCC stated in the email. “Responses to these key questions may very well play a role in legislators’ decision-making process when determining what bills to support or oppose during the 2017 legislative session.”

On the question, “Should schools and businesses be able to require individuals to use restroom and locker room facilities based on biological sex, as defined at birth?” MCC urges a “yes” vote.

“You can influence upcoming legislation by participating in these polls!” wrote John Helmberger of the Minnesota Family Council in an “action alert” several hours after the MCC’s “action alert.” The email continued:

Visit the booth and vote “YES!” to the simple yes/no question presented below:

Should schools and businesses be able to require individuals to use restroom and locker room facilities based on biological sex, as defined at birth?

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Restrooms are meant to meet biological needs of individuals in private places where protection and privacy can be maintained. When restrooms become places for personal expression, instead of places where biological needs are met, we lose common sense protections. Millions of women and girls would be left incredibly vulnerable to exploitation if men gained access to women’s restrooms under the guise of transgender laws.

Compassionate accommodations can be extended to individuals struggling with biological realities without compromising the safety and privacy rights of everyone else.

Here are the full emails from both groups:

Download (PDF, 1.57MB)

Download (PDF, 423KB)

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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.


  1. This is a petition I would never sign. I’m ashamed of the Catholic Church supporting duch a thing. We are all people and deserve to be treated with respect.