Pour yourselves a nice, hot cup of something and settle in, Minnesotans, because we’ve got a lot to cover. Conservatives managed to pack plenty of WTF moments into the last 7 days. Here are the worst of the week:
Nothing therapeutic about it
It’s 2019. Today, LGBTQ Minnesotans enjoy equal marriage rights and legal protections from discrimination. We’ve elected our first openly gay congressperson. Our state has taken great strides toward equity for LGBTQ Minnesotans, but there are still plenty of conservatives who would rather take us back in time, hurting young and vulnerable Minnesotans in the process. “Conversion therapy” is a widely condemned practice of attempting to change someone’s sexual orientation and gender identity, sometimes involving psychological and physical abuse. It’s still legal in Minnesota, even for kids. DFL-er Hunter Cantrell is trying to change that to protect young and vulnerable LGBTQ Minnesotans, but Republicans have already voted against allowing the bill to advance in a committee vote. Republicans are failing to protect Minnesotans from potential trauma that they never asked for.
Sick of it
Nobody likes getting sick, especially if a day’s pay is on the line. Right now, many Minnesotans show up to work sick out of fear of losing pay, or even their jobs, which can prolong and spread illnesses. That’s why DFLers are working to ensure paid sick and safe time for working Minnesotans so they can rest easy while caring for themselves or a sick child. The bill is moving on in the house, but not without Republican opposition. Republicans want to continue to force working Minnesotans to choose between recovering from an illness or taking care of a loved one and getting paid.
Denying Minnesotans the right to vote
In Minnesota, voting is a part of who we are. Minnesota is proud to be a state with consistently high voter turnout, but some Republicans want to continue to restrict access to the ballot from some Minnesotans, and shortchange election security. Minnesota has the opportunity to take advantage of federal funding for election security under the Help America Vote Act, and Secretary of State Steve Simon and Democrats in the Legislature are urging that we act fast. Republicans are holding it up. Why?
Blocking gun violence prevention measures
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Minnesotans overwhelmingly support common sense gun safety legislation. But Republicans still aren’t getting the memo. Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka has said that he would prevent any new gun safety laws from passing this session. Any at all. Republicans aren’t listening to what Minnesotans want, and they’re endangering our communities in the process.
Chipping away at women’s reproductive rights
Republicans just can’t stop attacking Minnesotans’ reproductive rights. This week, Republicans introduced a bill that would require doctors to offer patients a viewing of an ultrasound image before ending a pregnancy. This bill interferes with the patient-physician relationship, shames women for their decisions, and is totally unnecessary. It’s just another addition on a long list of attacks by Republicans to shame women out of accessing safe, legal abortion care.
“You keep using that word…”
We all have an idea in our minds about what an “emergency” is. Trump’s made-up border “crisis” isn’t that. It’s just another desperate attempt to divide and distract our communities while him and Republicans hand out huge corporate tax breaks and defund our health care. Despite that, Minnesota Republican Congressman Jim Hagedorn is supporting Trump’s decision to abuse his executive power and declare a “National Emergency” to fund his border wall. He’s out of touch with what Minnesotans actually care about, and would rather buddy up to Trump than listen to the people he serves.
Phew! That was a lot of WTF-ery. That’s why we need you to help us fight for the progressive values that matter to Minnesotans. Let your elected leaders know what matters to you, and together we’ll keep working toward a better Minnesota.