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House Judiciary Finance Committee advances Rep. Leigh Finke’s Gender-Affirming Rights Act

Thursday, March 9, 2023

SAINT PAUL, Minn. - Today, the Minnesota House Judiciary Finance and Civil Law Committee heard legislation chief authored by Representative Leigh Finke (DFL-Saint Paul). The legislation codifies the right of Two Spirit, transgender, nonbinary, and other gender-diverse individuals to receive gender-affirming care in Minnesota.

“Gender-affirming care saves the lives of our most vulnerable trans youth and non-gender conforming community members,” said Rep. Finke. “As a parent, we always want the best outcomes for our children. When our young children tell us who they are, we are obligated to listen to them, love them, and support them in their self-revolutionary journey. Our laws must protect our trans youth, their families, and the medical doctors and practitioners who provide health care to them." 

The GARA begins by defining “gender-affirming care” as “a service or product that a health care provider prescribes or provides to an individual to support and affirm the individual’s gender identity,” which includes but is not limited to treatment for gender dysphoria. 

The GARA also affirms an individual’s fundamental right to make autonomous decisions about their gender and related gender-affirming health care, a right it says is guaranteed by the principles of individual liberty, personal privacy, and equality enshrined in the Minnesota Constitution. Lastly, the GARA prohibits local units of government from regulating this right in a manner that is more restrictive than set forth by the GARA. 

You can watch the presentation and testimony of the bill here.