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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Mary Franson (R)

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Legislative Update from Rep. Mary Franson

Friday, February 24, 2023

Dear Friends,

I hope you are staying safe and warm during the storm. Please remember if you must travel to use caution on the roads. Despite having to deal with a historic snowfall, the good news is that Minnesotans are partially saved from Democrats passing more bad bills because the House and Senate are closed for the rest of the week. Thank you, blizzard?

Conversion Therapy Bill Passes

We are not fully saved from extreme Democrat policies, however, because we did meet on Monday where they passed a bill to ban conversion therapy for minors. We all want to protect children from abuse. But this bill was not specific in defining conversion therapy for purposes of changing one’s sexual identity. Instead, it left the door open for ensuring that counselors can only provide children with gender affirming care.

Republicans offered several amendments to make the language more specific to protect religious freedoms and free speech. One amendment clearly defined conversion therapy as an official therapist/client relationship so we can protect the rights of family members and clergy to have conversations with a child. Democrats did accept this amendment.

I also offered an amendment to prohibit minors from hormonal therapy and genital surgery. Kids are too young to be making these life-altering decisions. If a child can’t say what they want for dinner, how can they commit to changing their gender? Unfortunately, Democrats changed the amendment to allow these therapies or surgeries, so I withdrew my amendment.

We must protect children from all types of abuse – physical, mental, or emotional. I will not support bills like this that undermine the rights of parents to help children with gender dysphoria in ways they feel is appropriate.

Sports Betting Agreement Reached

This week, Democrats announced that an agreement has been reached with Minnesota’s Tribal Nations and our local professional sports team to legalize sports betting. While this is a step forward, I am concerned that it will hurt Minnesota’s two horse racing tracks. 

I hope as negotiations continue these concerns are addressed.

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