The legislature continues to press ahead at a rapid pace, and the Minnesota Catholic Conference is working hard to ensure the Catholic voice is represented on a variety of key issues, always in service to the common good.
This session, a long-advocated for bill has a high probability of passing: Earned Sick and Safe Time. This bill, H.F. 19/S.F. 34, would allow employees to earn one hour of paid sick and safe time for every 30 hours worked. The ability to accumulate leave would not only help family life, but also send the message to Minnesotans that children and families are real priorities within our society.
According to federal data, while 96 percent of the country’s highest-paid workers receive paid sick leave, only 40 percent of the lowest earners do. A 2021 survey conducted by Harvard’s Shift Project revealed that many of the roughly 6,600 hourly low-wage workers surveyed didn’t even have $400 in emergency funds.
Public policy should protect people who must take time away from their jobs to handle serious family responsibilities. Illness in one’s life or family is inevitable. Caring for newborns, children, the sick, and the elderly is a privileged place in which we grow in our own humanity. All workers deserve the right to tend to these vital duties, not just the privileged of our society.
The passage of H.F. 19/S.F. 34 would protect families by aligning our state’s employment laws with the common good. This would be a concrete step towards putting families first in our workplaces and in our culture.
Mental health access
Another way we are advocating for the importance of family life is through our opposition to the counseling ban, H.F. 16/S.F. 23. This “conversion therapy” legislation denies young people access to the psychological sciences that help them live in harmony with their bodies and with a healthy, rightly ordered sexuality that promotes human flourishing.
To put it simply, this bill would essentially ban talk therapy on certain issues between a young person and his or her counselor. Yet, our children would still be able to access hormone blockers and get life-altering surgery.
Mental health professionals note that same-sex attraction and gender discordance can be the symptomatic result of childhood trauma. Sometimes, addressing and working to heal this underlying trauma requires speaking to matters of sexual identity.
In the Church’s pastoral care of persons, we encounter many who seek to live in accord with the way God made them, male or female, and consistent with His providential plan for human sexuality. Often, they pursue a combination of spiritual and secular resources to give them hope and healing, and they should continue to have the freedom to do so, consistent with sound professional practice.
Additionally, under the proposed language, faith groups, religious bookstores, or even Barnes & Noble could conceivably be penalized for selling or distributing the Bible or the Catechism of the Catholic Church because of their promotion of an integrated sexuality consistent with human flourishing and their exhortation to turn away from sin. In short, both books call on the reader to “convert.”
Limiting access to sound materials and psychological services that can help people work through their potential trauma and live in right relationship with their body and sexuality is not at the service of families or of the common good.
Unite for Life at the Capitol!
Join pro-lifers from across Minnesota at 10 AM on February 28th to show our lawmakers that the pro-life movement is united and stronger than ever!
Not only has Governor Tim Walz signed the extreme PRO Act into law, the attacks on life are continuing at the Capitol with bills such as H.F. 91/S.F. 70, which would increase tax-payer funding of abortion, and strip away what remaining safeguards exist in our state for women considering an abortion, for minors seeking an abortion, and even for infants who survive an attempted abortion.
Register today at www.UnitedforLifeMN.org to join us at the Capitol and to meet with your legislators to advocate for policies that defend women, children, and families.