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Parents outraged at proposed Minnesota transgender policy

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This week, the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) is expected to approve a draft proposal that would allow transgender athletes to shower and share hotel and locker rooms with athletes of the opposite sex. Hotel rooms "should be assigned," says the policy proposal, "based on [the student's] gender identity,” a policy that could result in teenage boys sharing a hotel room with teenage girls.

The policy draft seeks to protect the privacy – of the transgender child. School officials may not inform parents whether a student is biologically male or female with a gender "identity as a transgender person" without the student's permission.

The proposal outraged parents and community leaders statewide. The Child Protection League, a grassroots organization of concerned parents, put out a full-page ad stating: “A male wants to shower beside your 14-year-old daughter. Are you OK with that?”

The Minnesota Catholic Conference has launched an online petition campaign listing numerous concerns with the policy. According to the Conference, the proposed policy "relies upon a contested view of gender identity confusion that could do students struggling with their gender more harm than good," violates Minnesota law related to "religious or conscientious objections" to the policy, and "could alter the competitive fairness in girls' athletics," among other concerns.

The proposal requires that the transgender student's parent or guardian sign a document related to the child's gender preference, and provide "affirmation from an appropriate health care provider...regarding the student's" preferred gender identity, and hormone treatments for males attempting to become female must have begun before any males may participate in female sports.

Minnesota is the latest in a series of states to require transgender-oriented laws related to teenage sports. California made a similar policy change last year. Minnesota would join a total of 12 other states in implementing such policies.

An effort to repeal the California law fell short of the number of signatures necessary to place the question on a state ballot was thrown out earlier this year, when thousands of signatures were declared invalid. 

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