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More on LBGTQ rights

To the editor:

I would like to respond to a letter by Casey McMullen that was published on 11/10/21.

First, I would like to make clear that, as I stated in my earlier letter, “it is not the role of our government to teach any particular religion’s moral values.” To imply, as Ms. McMullen did, that I am citing my religion as the basis for my concerns, is to misrepresent my position. My position is based on reason and law.

Second, Ms. McMullen states that the legal rights of LGBTQ students include the right to be referred to by their chosen pronouns and the right to have their “gender expression” recognized. To support this position, she cites a toolkit published by the Minnesota Department of Education (DOE).

In making this argument, Ms. McMullen is providing an example of the expansion of LGBTQ “rights” that I warned against in my letter. Toolkits written by the DOE are not law; they are a bureaucratic department’s interpretation and application of a law. Unfortunately, our state’s DOE is highly influenced and staffed by activists who are not the least bit reluctant to use their positions to expand the “rights” of their favored groups so that those “rights” extend beyond the wording of the statutes passed by our state legislators. There is nothing in the state anti-bullying statute itself that speaks of referring to someone by his or her chosen pronoun or affirming someone’s chosen “gender expression,” and in our governmental system the bureaucracy does not have legitimate authority to create “rights.”

Third, in my earlier letter, I listed several theoretical LGBTQ student “rights” that are not legitimate rights. Contrary to what is stated in Ms. McMullen’s letter, I did not claim that these “rights” are currently being asserted or demanded by anyone in our schools today.

Finally, while I agree with Ms. McMullen that all students should be treated with kindness and respect, I am concerned at what will be included in those terms (kindness and respect) in the future. At present no one is demanding that LGBTQ students be affirmed by other students, but that is the direction we are headed with the coming of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to our school system.

Michael Thom

New Ulm

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