Minnesota House Passes Bill To Become a Refuge for Trans Kids
It’s a place I wanna be.
The face of the widespread backlash against trans people in the United States, the House of Minnesota has passed a bill that would sanction the state as a “Trans Refuge State”.
What does this mean?
Essentially, a trans refuge state is a state that has policies and laws in place to protect trans people. These could include anti-discrimination measures in employment or housing, government sponsored aid for gender affirming healthcare, and legal recognition of trans identities on government documentation. Basically everything that American Republican politicians stand against.
In the case of Minnesota specifically, the new bill would prevent children traveling from other states to receive gender affirming care from warrants or extraditions from their home states where such care is restricted or outright banned.
The bill was primarily authored by Rep. Leigh Finke, the state’s first openly trans legislator, and it passed by a 68-62 vote along party lines. “We are a state that prides ourselves on providing world-class healthcare, and making that healthcare accessible to everyone who needs it”, said Finke. She went on to say that the trans community in “desperate need” of such care. The bill is now en route to the Democratically controlled Minnesota State Senate, where is is likely to pass as well.
This comes in the wake of an executive order signed by Minnesota’s Democratic Governor Tim Walz protecting LGBTQ people from facing legal repercussions when attempting to access gender affirming care, and ensure that Minnesota continues to offer such care to the community. “We want every Minnesotan to grow up feeling safe, valued, protected, celebrated, and free to exist as their authentic versions of themselves,” said Walz in an interview. He went on to call protecting and supporting access to gender affirming care an “essential” component in being a “welcoming and supportive state” for trans people.
The Associated Press reports that during a debate over the bill the State Capitol was flooded with conservative protestors, who verbally clashed with counter protestors in support of the bill. Republican lawmakers says that the bill has “zero guardrails” to “protect” trans children (from what may I ask?) and claim that the bill undermines parental rights.
Nevertheless, terrified parents of trans children across the country are likely to move to Minnesota in order to protect their children. It’s possible that if they return to their home state they would face prosecution, so the move might be permanent.
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