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Reasons given for public accommodations bill

To the Editor:
Since introducing HF3396, the Individual’s Right to Privacy and Safety in Public Accommodations Act, I have received a lot of feedback and I would like to articulate my reasoning behind this bill.
The overwhelming majority of Minnesotans agree that adults and children have a right to privacy from members of the opposite sex when using a public restroom, shower or locker room. This is a well-established tenet of our society.
What we are seeing in the discourse around this bill is that some feel that the rights of the majority should give way to the vocal minority, who wish to claim a special privilege based on their feelings of gender identity, as opposed to an objective standard of their biological sex identified at birth.
Biological sex, based on one’s anatomy and DNA, is the only objective way to insure this right of privacy to everyone, regardless of sexual preference or identity.
The supporters of the transgender movement claim that not allowing transgenders to use public facilities of the opposite sex is “discrimination;” however, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled in Goins v. West Group, 635 N.W.2d 717 (Minn) that designating bathrooms based on the objective standard of biological sex is not discrimination based on sexual orientation, and is therefore not in violation of the Minnesota Human Rights Act.
This bill, HF3396, is a necessary clarification of the Goins decision, making it clear that it is not discrimination to require individuals and children in our schools, businesses and society to use restroom and locker room facilities based on biological sex. The majority of people agree with this standard and the legal right of privacy when using public accommodations.
My bill also provides many exceptions and accommodations for single-stall use, emergencies, etc.
It is not surprising to me that this legislation has caused such a heightened reaction from both sides of this issue. I am very willing to have a reasonable debate with anyone who welcomes civil discourse around this bill. I understand the animosity that rears its head in this discussion, and while I hold no malice towards people from the LGBT community who have contacted me regarding this bill, I am saddened by the number of vile and threatening emails and phone calls that I and my family have received.
For more information from qualified medical experts in this area verifying the damage this flawed “feelings-based, gender fluidity” philosophy can do when taught to elementary children in our public schools, see http://www.acpeds.org/the-col
lege-speaks/position-statements/gen
der-ideology-harms-children.
It is my hope that as this bill moves forward, more people will come to the table with a mind toward having a respectful debate. In the meantime, I will continue to protect the reasonable and constitutional right of privacy to all Minnesotans; gay, transgender, straight and especially our state’s children.
State Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen
R-Glencoe