“We’re going to lose this one today.” Monica Meyer, Executive Director of OutfrontMN said during the Lobby Day kickoff brunch on Saturday referring to HF 844, the omnibus bill for K-12 education that contains an amendment barring students that are transgender the right to use the bathroom that fits their gender. She was right, the Republican held state house passed the bill 69-61 paving the way for discrimination against transgender and gender nonconforming students in our public schools.
Under pressure from the Child Protection League PAC and Minnesota’s oldest LGBT hate group, The Minnesota Family Council, the original bill HF 1546 and HF 1547 as well as SF 1543
had all been introduced early in the session. Each bill was targeted directly at transgender students and individually failed to gain traction in the DFL held Senate and on March 19th, SF1543 failed [28 yea 37 Nay]. HF 1546, the Student Physical Privacy Act, as predicted, was attached to the HF844 omnibus education bill on April 25th and passed by the majority Republican House.
Representative Miller spoke on the House floor today about his reasons for bringing forward the Student Physical Privacy Act: “Public schools have a duty to protect the privacy, comfort, and safety of their students. I bring this forward because I am the father of seven children and grandfather of three. This amendment is for all children.”
Weeks earlier at the Republican convention, flyers were handed out featuring the photo of a cisgender Russian model taken by photographer Polina Zadirako, that proclaimed, “I want to use your daughters bathroom.” According to the photographer, “This model is my friend. He is gay. He is not transgender.” Zadirako said in an interview with TheColu.mn. The photo was available for sale on Shutterstock labeled “androgynous man.”
The image, which I had posted on Facebook was deemed too offensive and I was immediately issued a warning for displaying pornography and threatened with suspension.
In other words, a PAC called the Child Protection League handed out a flyer at a convention that both women and children attended; a flyer Facebook considers pornographic.
The Minnesota Family Council immediately issued a press release claiming victory in their fight stating, “MN House votes YES on keeping boys/girls in separate bathrooms!”
The Family Council’s CEO John Helmberger said, “We are overwhelmingly grateful to Representative Miller and the Minnesota House for their leadership in protecting students’ basic physical privacy and safety rights. Like Representative Miller, I too am a parent and grandparent, so I am very familiar with praying for the safety and protection of my kids when they head out the door each day for school. Of all the things parents have to worry about, the Student Physical Privacy Act ensures that parents won’t have to worry about their child encountering someone of the opposite sex when they use the restroom or change for gym at school.”
In a press release, the Family Council stated, “With Minneapolis and St. Paul public schools now operating with transgender policies permitting students to choose their own bathroom facilities based on gender self-identification and the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) passing a “transgender student athlete policy” last year, there is serious concern for the privacy and safety of all Minnesota children. Parents have grown increasingly concerned since last summer when the MSHSL’s intent to pass their policy came to light.”
The CPL PAC issued an “Action Alert” to their base urging them to call their Republican Representatives and to tell them to vote ‘YES’ on the amendment. Their “Action Alert” email also requested that you remove the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of the email to keep people from falling off their rosters.
The Education Omnibus Bill HF844 with the Student Physical Privacy Act amendment attached will now heads to the DFL controlled Senate for a vote. The Senate and House bills will more than likely head into conference committee prior to being sent to the Governor’s desk.