While many Republican-led states across the US are attempting to eliminate trans rights, Minnesota State Governor, Tim Walz, has signed an executive order which protects those seeking gender-affirming care.
Executive Order 23-03 requires state agencies to use their power to support access to gender-affirming healthcare, and it protects healthcare providers from potential legal repercussions.
Gov Tim Walz spoke to a room of LGBTQ+ activists as he signed the order, saying, “We want every Minnesotan to grow up feeling safe, valued, protected, celebrated, and free to exist as their authentic versions of themselves. Protecting and supporting access to gender-affirming health care is essential to being a welcoming and supportive state.”
Today, I took executive action to protect access to gender-affirming health care in Minnesota.
My message is clear: Here in Minnesota, our LGBTQ+ neighbors will not be denied or punished for seeking life-affirming and lifesaving medical care.
— Governor Tim Walz (@GovTimWalz) March 8, 2023
The legislation defines gender-affirming care to include medical and surgical care, and counselling. Gender-affirming care for minors may include access to reversible puberty blockers or hormone therapy, but contrary to the misinformation that has circulated, surgical interventions are not typically offered to children.
The executive order also addresses states that have restricted and criminalised trans healthcare, effectively making Minnesota a refuge for trans people and their families who travel to the state for gender-affirming treatment. Furthermore, Minnesota state agencies will not assist with investigations or comply with subpoenas that seek information about trans people who travel to Minnesota to obtain care.
Addressing South Dakota’s recent ban on gender-affirming care, Walz said, “I don’t know what a group of people in Pierre who decide to make life miserable and more dangerous for people are thinking, but it’s not going to happen in Minnesota.”
Minnesota is officially a trans refuge state! B/c Trans, non-binary & 2S relatives deserve protection & safety right now.
To Trans & gender expansive youth everywhere: we will never stop fighting for you to be ALL of who you are. Our work continues to protect and expand our… https://t.co/MVkSRUNgqD pic.twitter.com/pHk6isXF0M
— MN Rep Alicia Kozlowski (@LiishKozlowski) March 9, 2023
The order further affirms that out-of-state laws that terminate parental rights or restrict parents from contacting their child because they helped them obtain gender-affirming care will not be recognised in Minnesota. This comes in response to a bill introduced in Florida that would allow the state to remove trans children from their parents’ custody.
Minnesota’s first openly transgender legislator, Democratic Representative, Leigh Finke, stressed that the state will support trans people arriving from out-of-state. Finke told the Minnesota Reformer, “Families who have fled are already here, and many more are planning to come. We’re going to be ready to take care of them, and to provide them with the health care they need.”
But be clear: this is not the end of HF146, the Trans Refuge. This executive order fills the gap in protection, but we must have the force of law behind us. I will continue to push forward the Trans Refuge bill and many other priorities of the Queer Caucus. This is only a start.
— Leigh Finke (@leighfinke) March 8, 2023
Lawmakers are in the process of passing additional legislation to protect LGBTQ+ rights in Minnesota. A bill that bans so-called ‘conversion therapy’ passed in the House in February and now awaits a floor vote in the Senate.
This is massive.
Gov Tim Walz has just made Minnesota a trans refugee state with an EO!
He will decline extradition requests.
He will refuse subpoenas.
No resource can be used to enforce bans.
They will be the first state to upgrade to dark blue, safest states in my map. https://t.co/SGxtOvkWSn pic.twitter.com/pqJX9vSp55
— Erin Reed (@ErinInTheMorn) March 9, 2023
Across the country, activists continue to fight anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, as well as the hate and falsehoods spreading about transgender healthcare. Activists in Tennessee have organised a fundraising concert in opposition to the state’s drag ban and other anti-LGBTQ+ bills.
Irish musician Hozier is set to perform alongside LGBTQ+ musicians and allies, with proceeds from the event going towards LGBTQ+ groups, including the Tennessee Equality Project, Inclusion Tennessee, OUTMemphis, and The Tennessee Pride Chamber.
© 2023 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community since 1988.
During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.
GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBTQ+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBTQ+ media.
comments. Please sign in to comment.