Hundreds rallied at the Minnesota State Capitol in March to protest the Parents’ Bill of Rights, a GOP–backed package of four bills that would require teachers to share student information with parents. “While on its face this bill might seem benign, it’s actually part of a country-wide push to force LGBTQ youth further into the margins under the guise of promoting the parents’ rights,” Erin Maye Quade, advocacy director for Gender Justice, told the AP. Some educators are concerned that the bill could force school employees to out LGBTQ+ students to their parents, exclude transgender students from sports, and remove consequences for bullying. Two of the bills were authored by Minnesota gubernatorial candidates.
In other LGBTQ+ news, a ban on conversion therapy cleared the House Preventive Health Policy Division in early March with a 7–4 party- line vote. Rep. Athena Hollins (DFL-Saint Paul) is sponsoring the bill prohibiting mental health practitioners and professionals from providing conversion therapy to vulnerable adults or people under the age of 18. It would also ban fraudulent or deceptive advertising about conversion therapy and specify that Medical Assistance cannot pay for the practice.
Juliet Rudie, a member of the Lower Sioux Indian Community, was named director of the newly formed statewide office focusing on preventing harm to Indigenous people. Rudie is a former Saint Paul police officer and Ramsey County chief sheriff’s deputy. Funding for the office was appropriated in the 2021 legislative session.
Independent filmmaker Gabrieline Reece is releasing her “Shot of Influence” documentary about Twin Cities women entrepreneurs. Learn more about Reece’s vision at tinyurl.com/MWPShotofInfluence. Minnesota Women’s Press is a promotional partner of the film. For tickets to the May 21 viewing, visit tinyurl.com/MWPShot