Mar 24, 2023 | By: Lakeland News

Minnesota House Passes Trans Refuge Bill

The Minnesota House passed a bill early this morning that aims to protect gender-affirming care for transgender people and block prosecution from other states for those who come to Minnesota to receive care.

The bill passed on a vote of 68-62 at around 5 a.m. on Friday. Authored by DFL Rep. Leigh Finke, it would prohibit officials and courts from complying with extraditions, arrests, or subpoenas from other states for anyone receiving gender-affirming care in Minnesota. It also blocks orders that would remove children receiving such care from their parents’ or guardians’ custody.

The legislation comes as multiple states, including nearby Iowa and South Dakota, have passed bans on gender-affirming care for transgender children. Proponents of the bill have said it will protect trans children and their families and give them the health care they need.

Republicans opposed to it have claimed it violates the rights of parents and that children seeking care are subjected to invasive surgical procedures. However, most major medical organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, have said that gender-affirming care helps improve the mental health of trans youth and that such care is carefully considered and only involves surgical treatments in very rare instances.

The bill is now scheduled to be heard in the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee. Gov. Tim Walz has expressed his support for the bill. Earlier this month, Gov. Walz issued an executive order to protect gender-affirming care in the state.

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