With the adjourning gavel smack still echoing through the Capitol, two Minnesota lawmakers are already gearing up for what they see as one of next session's biggest showdowns: deciding where transgender people can legally pee.
As the Column's Andy Birkey reports, Sen. Warren Limmer (R-Maple Grove) and Rep. Abigail Whelan (R-Anoka) were guests on Christian conservative radio station AM 980 the Mission last week. Host Paul Ridgeway asked for the legislators's thoughts on “the whole transgender thing,” namely Minnesota high schools allowing transgender students to play on sports teams with the sex they identify with.
The convo started predictably enough, with Limmer stating that “the transgender issue” is being “forced on your children and forced on society.” Whelan mentioned the so-called “bathroom bill,” a failed measure that would have resigned students to using the cans and locker rooms assigned to their biological sex. The first-term Republican framed it as a safety issue, and to help parents avoid awkward conversations with their kids.
“You know, you have two kids who are going to school together from kindergarten,” Whelan said, according to Birkey's transcription. “Now, maybe they are 10 years old and one’s a boy and one’s a girl, and we’ll say one of them says, 'You know what? I no longer feel like a boy. I want to be a girl.' Well, now this little girl who was with this child for five, six years is going to the bathroom with him and unfortunately that girl goes home and says, 'Mom, Dad, I don’t understand. So and so was a boy and is now a girl. Am I still a girl or am I a boy?' Now you as a parent have to deal with that and unfortunately it raises a lot of scary questions and scenarios.”
Later, Whelan warns of taxpayer funded surgeries, arguing the bathroom debate is the tip of the penis-shaped iceberg. Ridgeway comments that “the gays” have some sort of plan and that Satan is somehow responsible for Caitlyn Jenner (formerly Bruce) coming out.
From there, Limmer grabs the baton.
“You brought up Bruce Jenner,” he begins. “He's going through his change, surgically. When you interview him, he says 'Yes, I'm glad I'm now a quote-unquote woman. But I still have yearning for women. So, think of that type of person, a young person, who wants to play on a girls team because he thinks he's more likely going to be a woman in the future and he's now going to share a locker room with girls teams. And if Bruce Jenner still has yearnings for women, so would that young man who thinks he's a girl in a girls locker room.”
It all sounds “crazy” and “diabolical” to Ridgeway. But maybe Jenner's “yearnings” will come up in committee next year.
Send news tips to Michael Rietmulder.
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