POLITICS
12/06/2014 04:04 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2014

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton Unloads On 'Hate Mongering' Against Transgender Students

Hannah Foslien via Getty Images

Gov. Mark Dayton (D) slammed opponents of the Minnesota State High School League's vote this week to allow transgender students to play on girls' sports teams, according to The Uptake.

The Minnesota Child Protection League had taken out newspaper ads that claimed the sports association's policy change would lead to the end of all girls' sports. A commentary in the Minneapolis Star Tribune had conjured up the image of an "adolescent counterpart" to Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews getting on a girls' team by declaring, “My long hair is evidence of my sincerity and my feminine self-expression.”

But Dayton, speaking on Thursday, was having none of it. He denounced the opposition as “hate mongering,” “despicable” and “absurd.”

The full transcript of the governor's remarks, via The Uptake:

Dayton: I don’t know the details of the policy, but I applaud the [High School] League for taking this on in a very serious, careful-minded way. From what I understand of it, if this is correct, it’s inclusive in a responsible way that they should be ... again I would applaud them for doing so.

I think some of the hate-mongering that was going on was just despicable. I mean the idea that Clay Matthews is going to change gender status to go trample young girls on a basketball court, I mean, it’s just so ... it’s ludicrous. But it’s not funny because it’s so hurtful to kids out there struggling with their own identities and parents who are struggling with those challenges, and I think anyone who would think they would wish this on themselves or their kids is just, just absolutely ... The embellishment it would take for that far-fetched, absurd, not even hypothetical possibility and [to] turn that into an attack on trying to help some kids who need a chance to be like every other kid in terms of their school activities -- it’s just ... I can’t comprehend how people ... how some people in this state can want to spend their time on something that’s that destructive to other people’s lives and misstate it in such a way that is really appalling.

The High School League oversees high school athletics in Minnesota. Its new transgender policy passed by an overwhelming margin, with 18 of the 20 board members voting yes. The measure, which will take effect in the next school year, makes Minnesota the 33rd state to adopt a formal transgender student policy, according to the Star Tribune.

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