Executive Order 23-03 comes in response to several US states recently moving to ban so-called "gender affirming care" for minors on the grounds that there is no good quality evidence to support such extreme interventions for a poorly defined psychiatric disorder that many experts believe to be the result of social contagion.
“Today, Minnesota joins other states and a growing number of municipalities across the country that have acted in solidarity with the LGBTQIA+ community,” reads the order. “We stand with this community by maintaining a refuge for those who seek and provide gender affirming health care services.”
Walz’s order defers to the authority of major professional associations such as the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), the leading trans health organization that last year recognized eunuch as a valid gender identity even children can possess.
“The availability of gender affirming health care services is essential to the health and wellness of LGBTQIA+ community members, and is supported by numerous major professional associations,” reads the order.
While gender affirming health care services are legal and protected in Minnesota, the order points to developments elsewhere in the US where access is being curtailed and in some cases criminalized.
The order makes reference to states that have enacted laws mandating that parents be investigated for seeking experimental sex changes for their children, claiming that these actions pose “a grave threat” to the health of young people who believe themselves to be members of the opposite sex by “preventing them from affirming their gender identities through safe and scientifically proven treatments.”
However, these supposedly “scientifically proven treatments” have not held up under scrutiny in nations that have undertaken systematic reviews of the scientific literature. Sweden, Finland, England, and most recently Norway, have all examined the evidence for child sex changes and found it to be of such poor quality that each nation has abandoned the affirmative model of care and reverted back to a more cautious psychotherapeutic approach to treating this vulnerable cohort.
“We are committed to protecting access to gender affirming health care services,” continues the order from Walz. “No one who is lawfully providing, assisting, seeking, or obtaining such services should be subject to legal or professional sanctions.”
Under the order, Minnesota will not enforce or recognize judgments from other states terminating parental rights in the event that a parents seeks medical sex change interventions in the state, nor will Minnesota comply with subpoenas relating to gender-affirming care information.
“To the maximum extent permitted…I will exercise my discretion to decline requests for the arrest or surrender of any person charged with a criminal violation of a law of another state where the violation alleged involves the provisions of, assistance with, securing of, or receipt of gender affirming healthcare services,” concludes the order signed on March 8.
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