Practicing Catholic: Recapping this year’s Legislative session with Jason Adkins

The Minnesota Legislature’s 2024 session wrapped up May 20 in the midst of filibusters, sessions that stretched into the early hours of the morning and legislative shouting matches. Some of the controversial bills failed or were amended thanks to the advocacy of the Minnesota Catholic Conference (MCC), which serves as the public policy arm of the state’s Catholic bishops.

Jason Adkins, executive director and general counsel of the MCC, joined “Practicing Catholic” host Patrick Conley to recap the legislative session and identify where the voice of Catholics impacted lawmakers

One of the biggest ways it did so was in its opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), which opponents including the MCC argued would have enshrined gender and abortion rights and not protected against religious discrimination.

“It’s really not about ‘equality for all.’ It is special protection of some and punishment for those who dissent,” Adkins said. “It’s really the legal imposition, one might say, of a whole view of the human person and with the idea that gender and sex are simply malleable characteristics, that we can identify with our gender as we please and those who dissent, so to speak, from this new orthodoxy related to gender should be punished.”

The proposed ERA did not pass and will not be a ballot measure for the state’s voters, thanks in part to the efforts of the MCC and a coalition of religious leaders who opposed the proposed amendment to the Constitution.

The MCC also opposed a bill that would make assisted suicide an option for Minnesotans with terminal illnesses, which Adkins called a “dangerous, dangerous bill.”

“When care is expensive and killing is cheap, which do we think will prevail?” he said of the bill, which has been proposed every year for the past 10 years. It went further than ever this year with three house committee hearings, but ultimately failed to make it to floor debate.

“We’re not simply opposed to assisted suicide. What we want to do is create a system of policies where people feel like they have choices other than assisted suicide. Assisted suicide is a choice that people make when they feel like they have no other choices,” Adkins said.

The MCC also successfully advocated for an amendment to the insurance mandate, which would have required all insurance companies to provide coverage for what proponents of the bill call “gender-affirming care” and abortion.

“Fortunately, we were able to secure religious exemptions for religious employers, both private and religious,” Adkins said. “We want people to have health insurance because health is important to the dignity (of the) human person, but we don’t think abortion and so-called gender affirming care are restorative or preventative, (which is) the very nature of healthcare itself. And so again, it’s not simply that we just don’t want to pay for things. It’s we don’t think they’re authentic healthcare.”


Listen to interviews after they have aired at or choose a streaming platform at Spotify for Podcasters.


Read the full article at The Catholic Spirit.

Share this page to spread the word.
Share Tweet