Opponents of a proposed framework for allowing transgender students to participate in school sports in Minnesota has come under fire from anti-LGBT activists in the state, including from the Minnesota Child Protection League, which ran a full-page ad in the Minneapolis Star Tribune this week with the message: “A male wants to shower beside your 14-year-old daughter. Are YOU ok with that?”
At a hearing yesterday, the group that oversees high school sports in Minnesota tabled the proposal until December after speakers warned that the policy would amount to “transgender promotion” and because some students may have religious objections to transgender identity, it would “intentionally endorse one particular religious view over another.”
The Minnesota Child Protection League claims that its transphobic ad generated over 10,000 emails to the sports board. Andy Birkey with The Colu.mn reports that “most of the speakers in opposition” at yesterday’s hearing “had a connection with either the Child Protection League or the Minnesota Family Council,” a state affiliate of Focus on the Family’s political arm.
Birkey recorded some of the most incendiary rhetoric against the measure:
Attorney Renee Carlson was one of several speakers who were misinformed about the policy, specifically the sensitivity training element.
She said the policy forces schools to “embrace transgenderism through sensitivity training, training that the school does not have an option to decline according to this policy” and “imposes a narrative regarding human sexuality that is different from my own as a parent and leaves no other options.”
Becky Swenson asked, “How much will it cost to provide training? She lamented that OutFront Minnesota was consulted about the policy and said. “I wonder if the true goal isn’t transgender promotion… I’m sad to see that any disagreement is called hate speech.”
Religious school also testified that they objected to the proposed policy on religious ground.
Dr. Jeff Mattner of the Association of Christian Schools International asked the board not to step on the rights of religious schools to exercise their faith and convictions.”
Rev. Fredric Hinz of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, a Lutheran denomination that rejects LGBT rights and advocated ex-gay conversion therapy, echoed some of MNCPL’s misinformation. “We are also disappointed that the proposed policy makes no apparent efforts to acknowledge the financial burden that it may impose on participating schools,” he said. “We find it ironic that while going to great lengths to advocate for greater sensitivity to the concern of transgender students, the proposed policy seems to lack any sensitivity to the vast majority of student athletes who may be forced to forfeit their privacy rights in sharing public facilities.”
He added that his faith rejects people being transgender.
“It is a policy that presumes that our true essence as human beings is somehow separable from our bodies that our bodies are somehow meaningless. This is a view which stands in direct contradiction of the religious views of the vast majority of students and their parents…to adopt this policy would be to intentionally endorse one particular religious view over another.”
Brian Sullivan head of Maranatha Christian Academy and Living Word Christian Center said he opposed it because of “deeply held religious conviction… whether it’s intended or not, it discriminates against these schools on the basis of religion.”
Michele Lentz of the Minnesota Child Protection League said her group is not spreading misinformation about the issue and defended her ad. “If you ran an ad, we wouldn’t have had to. Now parents know.” She challenged the very idea of transgender people. “The underlying assumption is that gender is a choice and not a matter of biology, which is absurd but that is what is at the heart of the controversy.”