North Dakota advances record-setting 10 'anti-LGBTQ' bills

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05 Apr 2023, 6:18 pm

North Dakota advances record-setting 10 anti-LGBTQ bills in one day, advocates say

North Dakota’s Legislature advanced 10 bills Tuesday that advocates say target the state’s LGBTQ community, setting a single-day record for such legislation, according to the Human Rights Campaign, the country’s largest LGBTQ advocacy group.

The state Senate passed all 10 bills, which had already passed the House, on Monday. Eight of them are headed to Gov. Doug Burgum, a Republican, for either a signature or a veto.

Those eight include a broad measure that would ban “adult-oriented performances” on public property or in front of minors, which could restrict many forms of drag. Some of the bills passed with veto-proof majorities, including one that would restrict gender-affirming medical care for minors and another that would ban transgender students in public and private K-12 schools and colleges from playing sports on school teams that align with their gender identities.

Two bills have been returned to the House after the Senate added amendments. They would prohibit trans people in the state from updating the sex on their birth certificates and would ban state facilities from allowing trans people to use the restrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their gender identities.

Cathryn Oakley, the state legislative director and senior counsel at the Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement that the 10 bills “have the sole aim of pushing LGBTQ+ people back into the closet” and urged Burgum to reject them.
It’s unclear whether Burgum will support the measures. Last week, he vetoed a bill that would’ve allowed school personnel to misgender trans students and barred school districts from adopting “a policy or practice regarding expressed gender.” The Senate overrode his veto, but the House was unable to garner the two-thirds majority needed to uphold the override.

In a letter to state Senate President Tammy Miller regarding his veto, Burgum said ambiguity in the bill “would invite lawsuits and put teachers in the precarious position of trying to determine how to refer to students without violating the law.”

“The teaching profession is challenging enough without the heavy hand of state government forcing teachers to take on the role of pronoun police,” he wrote.

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