Minnesota State Representative Leigh Finke, who identifies as transgender, has introduced a bill known as the “Take Pride Act” (HF 1655) that seeks to amend the state’s Human Rights Act. The current act prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, which is defined as having an emotional, physical, or sexual attachment to another person without regard to their gender. However, it also includes a provision that excludes pedophiles from protections based on “sexual orientation.” Finke’s bill would remove this clause, much to the protest of many Republicans.
Finke claims that her proposal will not weaken laws against pedophilia or make them less strict. Instead, Finke purports that the bill aims to update outdated language that erroneously links pedophilia to sexual orientation.
“Crimes against children are located in Minnesota’s criminal statutes, and again, they remain unchanged.”
In addition to modifying the definition of sexual orientation, Finke’s proposal adds a definition of “gender identity.” According to the new definition, gender identity refers to a person’s “inherent sense of being a man, woman, both, or neither.” The definition goes on to say that “gender identity” may or may not correspond with their biological sex or the sex they were assigned at birth.
According to a source within the Minnesota House, Finke’s proposal is part of the omnibus Judiciary Policy bill that will be debated on the House floor. The bill is expected to be discussed on Wednesday.
GOP House Minority Leader Lisa Demuth expressed concerns about the Democrats’ decision to remove the provision excluding pedophiles from protections based on sexual orientation, stating that the party should join Republicans in safeguarding the safety of children.