Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen (R-Glencoe) detests gays. He’s always been convinced that homosexuality is “an unhealthy, sexual addiction” that can be cured by “conversion therapy.”
He's also utterly obsessed with transgender people.
Gruenhagen, along with 24 other members of the House and five members of the Senate, have a new bill drudging up an old beef – whether trans people are real, and whether they should be allowed to pee wherever they want.
These legislators want to amend Minnesota’s Human Rights Act to say that “a person’s sex is either male or female as biologically defined,” and that use of restrooms and locker rooms must be based on that biological definition.
In other words, they don't want a he who identifies as a she using the women's bathroom.
Bathroom bills have become the conservative rage across the heartland. They've been proposed in Minnesota before – failing last year – as well as in Kansas (just introduced), South Dakota (vetoed), Tennessee (failed), Texas (upheld).
The basic sentiment is that trans people are sexual predators. And that non-transgender people are victimized by having to do their business next to people with different genitalia.
In the meantime, studies have shown that suicide rates among transgender people are sky-high, mostly because so many people are dicks to them.
Minneapolis LGBT activist Anna Min isn’t trans, but expects that the bill could put a bullseye on women who look butch, or men who look feminine. Trans people, Min says, aren’t always obvious.
“It just comes down to a lot of people don’t fit into what is traditionally male or female, especially when everyone’s definition is different. So why are you gonna make the one place that everyone has to go so complicated?” Min asks.
Min doesn’t understand why legislators like Gruenhagen are so opposed to trans people.
“If I were born in their shoes and I never saw anything that I saw, then maybe I would be just as twisted as they are,” Min says. “I also have a longstanding opinion that if you spend so much of your time thinking about gay things, that you may be gay and you may be closeted. That much, I can say with love.”