Letter to the Editor: Representative needs to believe in freedom, equality

Published 6:30 am Saturday, June 26, 2021

The Department of Education (DOE) said on June 16 that transgendered students were protected under Title IX, a law that prohibits discrimination based on sex. This decision was announced after the Supreme Court ruled in 2020 that the protections in the Civil Rights Act extended to gay and transgendered students. The extension of Title IX to protect gay and transgendered students will keep Title IX in line with this Supreme Court ruling.

In January 2021, Representative Patricia Mueller and 12 other Republican representatives introduced HF350, a bill that would prevent transgendered girls from participating in female sports. Despite the DOE’s clarification on Title IX protections, Rep. Mueller has stated that she will not withdraw this bill.  Rep. Mueller stated in an email dated June 17 that “A man’s body is physically different than a woman’s body” and that she wants “to protect the women and girls in my district.”

There is no scientific evidence to support that transgendered girls are better athletes than cis-gendered girls. Rep. Mueller is perpetuating the false notion that someone who is born biologically male will always be physically stronger and more athletic than someone who is born biologically female. Additionally, Rep. Mueller’s statement makes it clear that she doesn’t consider transgendered girls and women to be part of the community of girls and women she is charged with representing. Rep. Mueller’s participation in an event hosted by the Minnesota Family Council on June 3, a group that condones conversion therapy and opposes LGTBQ rights, further illustrates her lack of support for the LGBTQ community. While Rep. Mueller’s slogan is “Be Brave, Be Free,” her concept of freedom doesn’t extend to members of the LGBTQ community.

If passed, this bill could also violate the Supremacy Clause, Article VI, Paragraph 2 of the Constitution, which states that a state cannot have a law that violates federal law. Rep. Mueller has talked at length at how she wants to uphold the constitution, but that desire appears to stop when it means protecting the LGBTQ community and ensuring equal rights for its members.

This is another instance of Rep. Mueller’s actions not supporting her words.  We deserve a representative who believes in freedom and equality for all of their constituents, not just a select few. We deserve better representation in St. Paul.

Catherine Haslag

Austin, MN