The Minnesota House passed a bill this week that would make it a “transgender refuge state” for children and their families who come for irreversible “gender-affirming” care, which includes hormone therapy, puberty blockers, and sex reassignment surgery.
The bill passed by a vote of 68-62, sensing it the the state Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee according to KARE 11. This comes after the state’s governor, a Democrat, signed an order protecting transgender people’s access to “gender-affirming” care (via KARE 11):
Democratic Gov. Tim Walz signed an executive order two weeks ago to protect the rights of people from Minnesota and other states to receive gender-affirming health care in the state. The bill the House passed covered much of the same ground, but supporters said a statute would provide stronger, more permanent protections.
KARE 11 noted that the chief author of the bill was Democratic state Rep. Leigh Finke, an “openly transgender” lawmaker.
This week, Townhall covered how Finke received USA Today’s “Woman of the Year” honor for Minnesota. Finke is a biological male who identifies as a transgender woman. In USA Today’s profile of Finke, it pointed out that “Finke has been an activist for transgender and LGBTQ+ rights, as well as Black Lives Matter, almost her whole life.”
It's a dramatic understatement to say that I am beyond honored to see my name among this list of honorees. https://t.co/WDIPslwsdH— Leigh Finke (@leighfinke) March 19, 2023
KARE noted that Finke’s “activism on behalf of trans youth” earned him the spot on USA Today’s list.
“Gender-affirming care is lifesaving health care," Finke reportedly said at a news conference before a House debate on the legislation. "Withholding or delaying gender-affirming care can have a dramatic impact on the mental health of any individual who needs it. Rates of depression, suicide, substance abuse are dramatically higher in transgender and gender-expansive individuals who lack access to care.”
“To all those families across the United States that are afraid and wondering where they can go for help, Minnesota is saying, ‘We see you, we love you and you belong here,’” Finke said.
Several states have created legislation to restrict transgender health care for minors, as well as keep women’s sports and restrooms reserved to females. Legislation introduced in Texas would restrict transgender health care for anyone under 26.