Nearly three dozen Minnesota state lawmakers signed a letter addressed to the governor of North Carolina, saying they support a recently enacted law that ties bathroom use to a person's biological sex.
The “Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act,” passed by the Legislature and signed into law by North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory, essentially undoes any ordinances that individual cities passed offering protection to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender women and men, the Charlotte Observer explains. It says the state is in charge of selecting protected classes (so race, religion, age, handicap, and a few others), and sexual orientation isn't included on the list.
The letter that 35 Minnesota lawmakers – all Republicans – sent to McCrory this week said all people have a right to privacy in bathrooms, locker rooms and showers. You can read in full letter here.
It also thanks the governor for his "courageous voice for common sense" and for his "exemplary courage and and leadership in securing [those] rights" in North Carolina.
The law is often referred to as the "transgender bathroom" law because it requires people to use public bathrooms (and other facilities) that correspond to their biological sex, not the gender they identify with.
The North Carolina law was met with fierce opposition from Democrats and the LGBTQ community, both in North Carolina and around the country.
There's a similar bill in Minnesota
One of the letter's signers, Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen of Glencoe, introduced a bill similar to the one passed in North Carolina, which would amend Minnesota’s Human Rights Act to say that “a person’s sex is either male or female as biologically defined” – and bathroom use would follow that.
An informal hearing was held on Tuesday in the Minnesota House of Representatives to discuss the bill for an emotional and heated 90 minutes, but no action was taken. The bill’s companion in the Senate is also awaiting action.
Gov. Mark Dayton previously announced he was banning state employees from nonessential travel to North Carolina, saying the law goes against the "values and the laws of our great state."
Dayton has also said he’d veto the Minnesota bill if it got to his desk