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North Dakota politicians block LGBTI anti-discrimination bill

North Dakota politicians block LGBTI anti-discrimination bill

Face with rainbow paint on it LGBT

An LGBTI anti-discrimination bill in North Dakota failed to pass in the state’s Senate chamber.

Democratic Sen. JoNell Bakke first introduced Senate Bill 2303. It proposed amending the state’s anti-discrimination laws to add sexual orientation.

Had the bill passed, it would have become illegal for people within North Dakota to discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, and more on the basis of sexual orientation.

On Friday (25 January), however, it failed in a 20-27 vote.

The Grand Forks Herald reported Bakke introduced a ‘pared-down’ version of past similar bills. She also offered an amendment to appease some legislators’ concerns, but it died on the floor regardless.

Arguments for and against

Fellow Democratic Sen. Erin Oban defended the bill.

‘Do we really want to keep all homegrown North Dakotans here and open our arms to new ones, or don’t we?’ she questioned. ‘This is not a partisan issue. … It’s not an issue that requires political courage.’

Conservative opponents of the bill maintained they are against discrimination, but had issues with the bill.

‘We can’t legislate people being nice to one another,’ said Republican Sen. Diane Larson. ‘This type of legislation will be used to sue people and will not enhance people loving one another.’

After the vote, supporters of the bill allegedly unfurled a banner reading ‘SHAME!’ from the public balcony above the Senate floor.

Transgender advocates, meanwhile, are trying to get gender identity included in future anti-discrimination efforts.

See also

Florida politicians introduce bills for LGBTI non-discrimination protections

Trump administration says South Carolina adoption agency can deny same-sex couples

‘Education shouldn’t discriminate’: Why a writer sent queer books to Karen Pence’s school