Transgender advocates slam Pawlenty over Newsweek interview

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The National Center for Transgender Equality (NTCE) slammed Gov. Pawlenty last week for his telling Newsweek that Minnesota’s laws protecting transgender people from employment discrimination should be changed. Pawlenty called the 1993 Minnesota Human Rights Act “overbaked” because “if you are a third-grade teacher and you are a man and you show up on Monday as Mr. Johnson and you show up on Tuesday as Mrs. Johnson, that is a little confusing to the kids,” he said. “So I don’t like that.” 


“In this interview, Governor Pawlenty disrespects the professionalism of Minnesota teachers, including transgender teachers, and is willing to use children as a shield from criticism for his change in position about anti-discrimination legislation,” NTCE said in a statement. “What cynical maneuvering on his part.”


 








“Sadly, Gov. Pawlenty states his opinion that the law should be changed-taking rights away from the people of his own state is certainly not evolution in our book,” the group continued. “The online article is titled, ‘Tim Pawlenty Gets No Respect.’ We can certainly see why.”


Full text of NTCE’s statement:



Reversing evolution: Gov. Tim Pawlenty on Gender Identity


When asked by Newsweek how his views have evolved over time, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty (and possible GOP 2012 Presidential candidate) responded by turning his back on the anti-discrimination ordinance he himself had voted for in 1993. He described the landmark measure as “overbaked” because it includes provisions to protect people from discrimination based on gender identity, which he characterizes as a “preference for the way they dressed and behaved.” As if that weren’t enough, he then goes on to create a fictitious scenario in which a third grade teacher changes gender literally overnight, thereby theoretically confusing the class.


In this interview, Governor Pawlenty disrespects the professionalism of Minnesota teachers, including transgender teachers, and is willing to use children as a shield from criticism for his change in position about anti-discrimination legislation. What cynical maneuvering on his part.


Sadly, Gov. Pawlenty states his opinion that the law should be changed-taking rights away from the people of his own state is certainly not evolution in our book. The online article is titled, “Tim Pawlenty Gets No Respect.” We can certainly see why.


Read the interview here: http://www.newsweek.com/id/227748/page/1. The material cited above is on page 3.