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Minn. newspaper under fire for running full-page anti-transgender ad

Minn. newspaper under fire for running full-page anti-transgender ad

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota’s largest daily newspaper is under fire for running an anti-transgender advertisement in Sunday’s edition that claimed high school boys may soon be allowed to shower with girls.

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The full page ad, paid for by the Minnesota Child Protection League, is in response to a proposed policy change by the Minnesota State High School League that would provide inclusion for transgender athletes.

The ad says, “A male wants to shower next to your 14 year old daughter. Are you okay with that?”

Under the proposed policy, transgender high school students can play on the team of their choice (male or female) but have to have a physician’s documentation and in some cases must have begun hormone therapy to “preserve competitive equity.” The MSHSL policy also provides transgender students avenues for corrective action if a school district does not comply.

The reports that the Catholic Church and the religious right have mounted a campaign to block the proposal, and in the process, have perpetuated false stereotypes about transgender people, including the myth that transgender students will prey on fellow students in locker rooms, showers, restrooms, and hotel rooms.

The proposed policy is similar to ones already adopted by several other states, including Nebraska and South Dakota.

The newspaper’s decision to run the ad has angered many longtime readers, who have taken to Twitter to voice their disagreement with the ad.

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The Minnesota State High School League, “a voluntary, nonprofit association of public and private schools” that oversees much of the athletics in the state, will meet on Wednesday, Oct. 1, and Thursday, Oct. 2, to discuss — and possibly approve — the policy.

The Minnesota Child Protection League is “a group of veteran religious right and tea party activists” who actively opposed the anti-bullying Safe and Supportive Schools Act before it was signed into law earlier this year, the adds.

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