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Today is Tuesday, November 27, 2007


OutFront Minnesota Hails Withdrawal Of Civil Rights Repeal Bill

[MINNEAPOLIS, MN] - SF 545, a bill that would comprehensively roll back basic civil rights protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) Minnesotans, was withdrawn by its Senate sponsor today in response to unrelenting criticism of its unprecedented scope.

"After most members of the Senate Judiciary Committee had identified the numerous flaws in SF 545, it was apparent that the proposal was doomed," said Monica Meyer, Public Policy Director for OutFront Minnesota, the states leading direct service and public policy agency serving Minnesotas GLBT community and its allies. "As a result, Sen. Jungbauer wisely retreated from his efforts to eviscerate the Minnesota Human Rights Act."

That the bill was in trouble was strongly evidenced by the fact that its sponsor replaced its original, lengthy text with a proposal to permit people to ignore the law based on religious beliefs. Supporters then attempted to amend this language to bar discussion of GLBT people or issues in schools. This effort was turned back, and eventually the entire bill was "laid on the table."

"By ending discussion of this destructive bill, the Senate has moved swiftly to preserve the fundamental civil rights all Minnesotans enjoy," said OutFront Minnesota Executive Director Ann M. DeGroot. "We strongly appreciate the outspokenness of Committee members in addressing the real issue here, namely protecting the basic commitment to fairness for all." Because of lengthy Committee debate on the bill, DeGroot was the only person to speak in opposition to the bill; only two people, aside from its author, testified in its favor.

"The Senate Judiciary Committee saw this bill for what it was: a mean-spirited effort to endorse discrimination. Even though its supporters claimed they bore no ill will to GLBT people, stripping us of basic civil rights protections is nothing short of a cruel attack," DeGroot said.

OutFront Minnesota is a non-partisan organization serving the GLBT and allied communities of Minnesota. All services including voter guides, voter information, and voter registration are made available without regard to a voter's political preference or on the basis of support or opposition to a particular candidate.

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