Minnesota Governor Tim Walz on Thursday signed into law a bill making the state a “sanctuary” for children, including those from out of state, seeking gender-altering surgery without the consent of their parents.
The new law gives state courts temporary emergency jurisdiction over any child in Minnesota who has been abandoned, is in need of protection from abuse, or has “been unable to obtain gender-affirming health care.” The law defines such care as “medically necessary health care or mental health care that respects the gender identity of the patient, as experienced and defined by the patient” and specifically cites puberty blockers and chemical and surgical procedures “to align the patient’s appearance or physical body with the patient’s gender identity.”
— Sean Nienow (@SNienow) April 27, 2023
“We just signed the Conversion Therapy Ban, Reproductive Freedom Defense Act, and Trans Refuge Bill into law,” said Democrat Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. “In Minnesota, we’re building a state where everyone is safe to be who they are, love who they love, and live without fear of violence and discrimination.”
We just signed the Conversion Therapy Ban, Reproductive Freedom Defense Act, and Trans Refuge Bill into law.
In Minnesota, we're building a state where everyone is safe to be who they are, love who they love, and live without fear of violence and discrimination.
— Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan (@LtGovFlanagan) April 27, 2023
“Freedom is on the march in Minnesota. Decency is on the march in Minnesota. Compassion is on the march in Minnesota,” Walz, also a Democrat, said.
The bill’s author, Democrat state representative Leigh Finke, the first transgender person elected to the Minnesota Legislature, said in March, “In the staggering rise of anti-transgender and anti-LGBTQIA2S+ legislation by extremist Republicans, Minnesota is a beacon of hope for trans and gender-expansive children and their families. The passing of the Trans Refuge bill will send a strong message to the trans community that they are loved, supported, and protected here in our state.”
But Rep. Peggy Scott (R-Andover) had harsh criticism of the bill, stating, “House File 146 undermines parental rights and most concerningly has zero guardrails to protect our kids. It allows children, regardless of age, to receive radical medical treatments.”
In March, Flanagan, speaking at an event where Democrat Governor Tim Walz signed an executive order forcing state agencies to protect “gender-affirming” health care, including surgery, admonished parents not to dissuade their children from such health care, eliciting mockery from conservatives.
Flanagan addressed the crowd as she wore a shirt that read “Protect Trans Kids” with a picture of a dagger on it.
“Let’s be clear: this is life-affirming and life-saving health care,” she declared. “When our children tell us who they are, it is our job as grown-ups to listen and to believe them. That’s what it means to be a good parent.”