The state of Minnesota has had a ban on discrimination, including discrimination based on gender identity, on the books for 23 years, but Minnesota state Senator Scott Newman (R) wants to repeal it.
State Senator Newman has authored a bill that would prohibit transgender people from using a bathroom that corresponds with the gender they identify as, among other things. Senator Newman's solution for a non-existent problem has been met with criticism he clearly wasn't prepared to take.
Newman held a press conference this week in which he blasted the "transgender community" for opposing his anti-transgender bill.
NEWMAN: "Currently the transgender community is just literally screaming about this bill and they do so without regard to what many people believe to be their right to privacy and it's literally just drowning out their voices.
I am hearing from my constituents that are strongly supporting this and I am hearing from the transgender community that strongly oppose it and I will tell you that I would estimate on about 10 to 1 the emails and phone calls coming out of the transgender community are coarse, they are threatening, they’re crude. And I will tell you that all that does for me is to strengthen my resolve that I’m going to protect my constituents and those I believe to be in the majority. [...]
I believe that what we are seeing is that the transgender community, as it applies to this bill, they're not the bullied, they're the bullies.
Like his counterparts in North Carolina and other state legislatures, state Senator Newman has a very peculiar concept of "privacy" which seemingly does not apply to non-binary individuals.
Is it not a gross breach of privacy to scrutinize the bathroom use of transgender women and men? Is it not a breach of privacy to tell them which bathroom they can or cannot use? Whose privacy is allegedly being breached today or at any point over the last 23 years of codified non-discrimination?
Senator Newman has vowed to 'protect his constituents' from a non-existent threat. There hasn't been a single documented case of a transgender person assaulting someone in a public bathroom. Meanwhile, the threat of violent hate crime is an everyday concern for transgender people who cannot necessarily rely on local law enforcement or government institutions to treat them with the same level respect or service as they would others.
Senator Newman is a clueless, irresponsible bigot whose moral preening will only put more transgender lives at risk. The supposedly nasty emails he has received from the transgender community, which he describes as "coarse" and "crude," are insignificant compared to what he wants to do to them.