March 12, 2015

TLDEF Condemns Minnesota Legislation Meant to Harm Transgender Students

New York, NY - The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF) denounces yet another attempt to target transgender students for discrimination, this time in Minnesota. Republican state lawmakers introduced identical bills in the Minnesota State House and Senate. HF 1456 and SF 1543 would deny transgender students the ability to play on sports teams or use bathrooms and locker rooms that match who they are as boys and girls. The legislation would invalidate the Minnesota State High School League’s transgender-inclusive athletic policy and bar school districts from implementing similar policies designed to allow transgender students to participate equally in school. The bills come in response to pressure from anti-LGBT groups in Minnesota.

Statement from TLDEF Executive Director Michael Silverman

“Like all students, transgender students thrive when they can be themselves in school. That includes playing on sports teams and using bathrooms and locker rooms that match who they truly are as boys and girls. This legislation would harm transgender students who are already vulnerable to bullying and other harassment. It is wrong and it is illegal. It violates Title IX’s anti-discrimination provisions as interpreted by the United States Departments of Justice and Education.

“These Minnesota bills come on the heels of similar Kentucky legislation that singles out transgender students for bias, as well as proposed bills in Texas and Florida that would make it a crime for transgender people to use restrooms consistent with who they are. This is a disturbing trend that must be stopped. Transgender people deserve the same opportunities to participate fully in schools and society at large without fear of discrimination. This legislation will only cause hardship for transgender children and adolescents and we hope that it is defeated.”