It’s getting ridiculous. Now Minnesota Republicans have teamed up to propose a bill outlawing gender-neutral bathrooms. Why are Republicans so obsessed with bathrooms? I don’t know. Personally, I can’t get worked up about where someone carries out excretion, as long as they’re discreet and don’t make a mess.
A striking fourty-four Republicans have cosponsored a bill in the Minnesota House that would block businesses and other employers from providing gender-neutral restrooms or from enacting policies that allow transgender employees to use appropriate restrooms. The bill, like one introduced in the Minnesota Senate on Friday, amends the Minnesota Human Rights Act, the nation’s first nondiscrimination law barring discrimination based on gender identity.
HF 3374 and its identical counterpart HF 3395 defines “sex” as “A person’s sex is either male or female as biologically defined.” The bill does not mention people who fall outside the male-female binary such as those who are intersex, nor those whose sex designations have been legally changed under Minnesota law.
I’m a biologist, and I don’t know how to unambiguously define every person’s sex. Chromosomes? Genitals? Those can give conflicting messages. Culturally, sex is a behavior and an attitude, and that doesn’t align well with the signs labeling bathroom doors. Should I only pee in the presence of people who don’t want to have sex with me? That’s easy — 99.9999% of the human race can share a bathroom with me. And that rare 0.0001% who do would include both men and women. Shall we also prohibit gay men from using men’s rooms? (I shouldn’t say that — Republicans might think that’s a dandy idea for more oppressive legislation.)
Fortunately, this is Minnesota, where the Republicans are a minority, and I suspect that not only will it fail to get out of the legislature, but if it does, our Democratic governor will veto it.