Trans Lawmaker Introduces Bill to Eliminate Anti-Pedophile Language

A transgender state lawmaker in Minnesota unveiled a new measure this week that would remove ‘anti-pedophile’ language from the state’s Human Rights Act. The so-called “State Pride Act” would eliminate a provision that specifically excludes “physical attraction to children” from the state’s protected class of sexual orientation. While the bill’s author, Rep. Leigh Finke, claims the measure does not weaken protections against pedophilia, he also says the exclusion “never should have been included” in the first place.

The state’s Human Rights Department describes the Minnesota Human Rights Act as “one of the strongest civil rights laws in the country” and has been on the books since 1967.

“The law prohibits discrimination in different areas such as employment, housing, and education on the basis of protected class such as race, religion, and disability.”

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Minnesota currently protects against discrimination based on sexual orientation, which is described in the law’s text as,

“having or being perceived as having an emotional, physical, or sexual attachment to another person without regard to the sex of that person or having or being perceived as having an orientation for such attachment, or having or being perceived as having a self-image or identity not traditionally associated with one’s biological maleness or femaleness.”

The current law includes an additional clarification, however, that pedophiles do not fall under the umbrella of the protected class of sexual orientation,

“‘Sexual orientation’ does not include a physical or sexual attachment to children by an adult.”

If Finke’s “Take Pride Act” were to pass, that language would be removed from the law entirely.

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A biological male, Finke was first elected to the Minnesota House last year as the state’s first transgender legislator. In 2023, he was named an honoree in USA Today’s Women of the Year rankings. He is a member of the state’s Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party.

Responding to the immediate backlash in a Fox News Digital interview on Wednesday, Finke claimed that his measure was not intended to help pedophiles but instead “updates outdated language that incorrectly ties pedophilia to a person’s sexual orientation.”

“Nothing in the bill changes or weakens any crimes against children, or the state’s ability to prosecute those who break the law,” Finke told Fox News.

“Of course, pedophilia is not a sexual orientation. The language never should have been included in the statutory definition in the first place. Crimes against children are located in Minnesota’s criminal statutes, and again, they remain unchanged.”

During a Minnesota House vote Wednesday evening, Republican lawmakers moved to counter Finke’s bill preemptively, passing an amendment to reassert that the “physical or sexual attachment to children by an adult” does not constitute a protected class under state law.

“A glimmer of common sense,” wrote Republican Rep. Harry Niska.

“An all green vote in the House tonight for this amendment to close a potential loophole created by HF447.”

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