Despite strong opposition from the Catholic Church and others, Gov. Tim Walz signed into law April 27 a bill designed to make so-called “gender-affirming” health care readily accessible to minors traveling or brought illegally to Minnesota from other states.
The “transgender refuge” law allows Minnesota courts to disregard parental rights and court orders from other states and take “emergency jurisdiction” over minors to ensure their access to gender therapies that have been stopped by other countries such as Sweden and the United Kingdom. Critics allege that the bill, HF146, violates multiple state and federal laws.
Walz also signed into law a related bill designed to ban so-called “conversion therapy” for minors and vulnerable adults that bans counseling which attempts to address unwanted same-sex attraction or gender discordance. The Church has argued that allowing “gender-affirming” health care and banning professional counselors from assisting minors and others struggling with their sexual identity can cause irreversible harm and undermine a person’s ability to live an integrated sexuality ordered toward marriage and family.
Minnesota Catholic Conference Executive Director Jason Adkins said, “We live in an upside-down world where it is allegedly harmful for young people to access licensed mental health professionals to help them live in accord with their biological sex, but it is OK for those same minors to access puberty-blocking hormones and undergo surgical procedures in an attempt to make their bodies align with their psychological state. The latter is the real ‘conversion therapy’ that should be banned.”
He continued: “Protecting human dignity requires that we respect the objective reality that each person is an embodied soul created in the image and likeness of God. We have a given human nature, not one that we create for ourselves and can manipulate at will. The consequences would be disastrous if we allowed our respect for each person to rest on their own subjective views of themselves, or the way in which we or others subjectively viewed them.”
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