The battle to include LGBT persons in Minnesota's Human Rights Act began the first year Allan was a senator. Senate majority leader Nick Coleman had proposed a bill to update Minnesota’s human rights law in 1973 that included protections for gays, lesbians, and bisexuals. It passed, much to Spear’s surprise, but eventually the bill died in the House. Spear would soon realize that furthering gay rights would require twenty years of compromise and criticism before it passed.
Aside from the moral conservatives, there was significant hostility from the more radical and uncompromising faction of the gay community. In 1975, another bill was made in an attempt to include gays under the human rights statute. Radical gays, however, wanted immediate rights for transgender people. Spear understood that passing gay rights was difficult enough with the public's attitude towards gays, so the introduction of transgender rights would make the passage impossible to win. Consequently, he and his allies chose not to include transgender rights, angering the gay community and frustrating their efforts
By the time Allan Spear was elected president of the senate after his sixth reelection in 1992, attitudes about LGBT rights had significantly changed in the state Capitol. On March 18, 1993, the state Senate finally approved the Minnesota Human Rights Act by a 37-30 vote. This act would guarantee protection from discrimination in education, employment, and housing to LGBT Minnesotans. This was one of the most intensely emotional days ever seen at the state Capitol. After 20 years of fighting for this bill, Spear expressed his sentiments in a brilliant, passionate and personal speech:
I've been told by many people that oppose this bill that sexual orientation should not be included in the human rights law because it is a choice, because it is a choice that people make, and if they make a choice, they can change that choice. Well, let me tell you, I'm a 55-year-old gay man and I'm not just going through a phase.