GOPers press to restrict transgender bathroom use

Published 10:32 am Thursday, March 24, 2016

ST. PAUL — Minnesota House Republicans unveiled a bill Wednesday that would require transgender people to use bathrooms and locker rooms corresponding to their sex at birth, despite there being little if any chance of it becoming law.

The proposal would apply to both public spaces, including schools, and private employers. Its sponsor, GOP Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen, said the bill is meant to ensure the privacy and safety of residents worried about people who were born members of the opposite sex using the same facilities.

With Democrats in control of the governor’s office and Senate, the proposal faces slim odds. Gov. Mark Dayton called it appalling and said he would veto the measure if it made it to his desk. He suggested the bill was designed to stir up conservative voters in an election year.

Email newsletter signup

“They just keep bashing people for their own political advantage,” he said.

Transgender rights have become a social flashpoint since the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that legalized same-sex marriage last year. In South Dakota, Republican Gov. Dennis Daugaard recently vetoed a GOP bill that would have required transgender students to use bathrooms that matched their sex at birth, saying it didn’t address “any pressing issue.”