The Minnesota House of Representatives passed a bill late this week that would make the state a “refuge” for child sex changes in response to several red states banning such procedures in recent months.
The legislation, House File 146, passed the state House after hours of debate by a vote of 68-62 in the Democrat-controlled body. The bill is expected to pass in the state Senate, also controlled by Democrats, and be signed into law by Gov. Tim Walz (D-MN).
“The bill makes Minnesota a sanctuary state for so-called gender-affirming care while simultaneously infringing on the fundamental right of parenting. It allows children, regardless of age, to seek and receive radical medical treatments that can cause sterilization, bone loss, loss of sexual function, and interference with brain development,” said State Rep. Peggy Scott (R-Andover).
Rep. Peggy Scott explains the issues with Minnesota's "trans refuge" bill.
"This means if a parent believes this treatment is not best for their child, a court can have an emergency hearing to remove the child." pic.twitter.com/uexX9fFsIN
— Alpha News (@AlphaNewsMN) March 23, 2023
The bill was introduced by State Rep. Leigh Finke, a man who identifies as a woman. Finke was recently named one of the “Women of the Year” by USA Today. Finke is a member of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party.
If it becomes law, the legislation would ensure that parents who wanted to give their children sex change procedures, including cross-sex hormones and surgeries like double mastectomies, would be able to, even if their home state has banned such practices.
“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,” Finke said. “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.”
In the bill, the procedures protected include the suppression of secondary sex characteristics and “interventions to align the patient’s appearance or physical body with the patient’s gender identity.”
Earlier this month, Walz issued an executive order declaring that the state would “protect” those seeking “gender-affirming care.”
“All state agencies must, to the fullest extent of their lawful authority, pursue opportunities and coordinate with each other to protect people or entities providing, assisting, seeking, or obtaining gender affirming health care services in Minnesota,” the executive order said.
The legislation comes as states like Tennessee and Mississippi have banned sex change procedures on minors, citing the long-term impacts of such treatments.