Today, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and Commissioner of Human Rights Rebecca Lucero declared their intent to defend the Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA) against Alliance Defending Freedom’s lawsuit to allow businesses to violate the law. This lawsuit is part of Alliance Defending Freedom’s national strategy of targeting and suing states with comprehensive human rights laws, in hopes of weakening anti-discrimination laws.
With one of the most comprehensive human rights acts in the nation, Minnesota has become a target of the Arizona-based Alliance Defending Freedom, which filed suit with the intent of carving out exemptions to the very law that currently protects all Minnesotans from discrimination in businesses that offer goods or services to the public. The case involves a St. Cloud couple who claim that the decades-old MHRA violates their freedom of speech by not allowing them to deny business services to people whose marriage doesn’t align with their own religious beliefs. If successful, the couple will be exempt from the legal consequences for violating the MHRA.
Human rights advocacy groups from across Minnesota, including Gender Justice, have come forward to stand with Commissioner of Human Rights Rebecca Lucero.
“While ADF fails to understand Minnesota’s proud history and long legacy of standing against discrimination, Minnesotans know that the our human rights act has guaranteed all of us protection from discrimination for over 30 years -- and we won’t stand by while an out-of-state organization attempts to usher in an era of legalized discrimination by carving out exemptions to it.”
Gender Justice Executive Director Megan Peterson