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Republican Lawmakers Move To Restrict Transgender Bathroom Use

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Minnesota lawmakers unveiled a bill Wednesday banning transgender people from using bathrooms different from their biological sex.

It requires transgender people to use restrooms in schools and businesses that match their biological sex at birth, and it says that "nontraditional identity" does not override the right to privacy.

"The vast majority of Minnesotans do, in fact, have this reasonable expectation of privacy," State Sen. Scott Newman (R-Hutchinson) said, "and they wish to exercise it."

Except for one-person restrooms, the bill bans schools and businesses from allowing transgender access to bathrooms, locker rooms, dressing rooms, or similar places.

Especially in schools; supporters say allowing transgender people to use bathrooms of their choice puts other students at risk.

"They should not be granted special rights just because they are confused or in denial about their biological sex," Barbara Anderson, a mother from Champlin, said.

Minnesota's leading LGBT advocacy groups called the bill "a step backward" after the state passed sweeping anti-discrimination laws.

"It does tell people they should discriminate against people who are transgender," OutFront Minnesota executive director Monica Meyer said. "I think that is truly harmful."

Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton, who signed into law the state's first gay marriage statutes, went even further, promising a veto in the unlikely event it reaches his desk.

"I'm just appalled," Dayton said. "This is about pandering to their extreme base. Their rabid base is homophobic, and they wrap themselves in the Bible to pretend that there's justification for it. But the Bible says love thy neighbor as thyself."

The actual language of the bill defines a person's sex as "either male or female as biologically defined" at birth.

Transgender people push back on that. They say gender is only "assigned" at birth but can change over a person's life.

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