Minnesota Democrats want to remove language from the state’s Human Rights Act which clarifies that pedophilia is not included in the protected “sexual orientation” class.
“‘Sexual orientation’ does not include a physical or sexual attachment to children by an adult,” the Human Rights Act says. HF 1655, a bill carried by Rep. Leigh Finke, DFL-St.Paul, seeks to remove that language from state statutes.
Proponents of the change argue that the current language perpetuates a stereotype that gay people are attracted to children, according to House research information provided to Alpha News.
Finke’s bill, dubbed the “Take Pride Act,” was incorporated into the House omnibus civil law policy bill, which is scheduled for a Tuesday floor vote.
Republicans plan to introduce an amendment to clarify that adults with “a physical or sexual attachment to children” are not a protected class under the Human Rights Act.
“Under the Human Rights Act, the definition of sexual orientation says that sexual orientation does not include physical or sexual attraction to children by an adult — or, more simply described, pedophilia. The Democrats’ decision to strike this language is disturbing and inexplicable,” House Minority Leader Lisa Demuth, R-Cold Spring, said in a statement.
“House Republicans will be presenting an amendment today to clarify that pedophilia is absolutely not a protected class under the Human Rights Act. We sincerely hope Democrats will join us in ensuring our children are protected,” she added.
Finke’s bill also includes an updated definition of “gender identity,” which is defined as “a person’s inherent sense of being a man, woman, both, or neither.”
“A person’s gender identity may or may not correspond to their assigned sex at birth or to their primary or secondary sex characteristics. A person’s gender identity is not necessarily visible to others,” the new definition states.
Department of Human Rights Commissioner Rebecca Lucero testified in support of the standalone bill during a March 7 hearing.
“It’s a bill that’s been long overdue,” she said. Other provisions in the bill seek to strengthen sexual orientation and gender identity protections in housing and ensure that nonprofits follow non-discrimination laws.