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North Dakota

North Dakota state Senate kills bill to prohibit discrimination against gays

Saturday, February 16, 2013

BISMARCK, N.D. — Lawmakers in the North Dakota state Senate had killed a bill that would have given gay and lesbian residents protections in the areas in the areas of housing, government, public services and the workplace.

The bill, SB 2252, would have amended the North Dakota Fair Housing Act and the North Dakota Human Rights Act, and was sponsored by a group of lawmakers that included Fargo Rep. Josh Boschee, the state’s first openly gay legislator.

It was defeated Thursday by a vote of 21-26.

Boschee, speaking with LGBTQ Nation on Friday, said the bill would have added the term “sexual orientation” to the Acts, which already include protections based on age, race, gender, religion, and disability.

Boschee noted that a similar measure had cleared the state’s Senate in 2009, but failed to gain passage in the House.

According to InForum News, the bill first had to battle a vote over an amendment that stripped the bill of its original language and added a declaration that the state does not condone discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The amendment didn’t include a way for someone to seek damages for discrimination.

Sen. David Hogue (R-Minot), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which heard the bill and its three hours of testimony, said the original bill didn’t have the chance of passing, so he offered the amendment.

“I thought this was something we can do that would be a reasonable compromise,” he said.

Boschee told LGBTQ Nation there was no plan to introduce a separate measure in the House during this session.

“It’s easier for people (to vote against it) who don’t experience these things,” said Boschee.

A Gallup study released Friday indicated that North Dakota had the lowest number of LGBT residents than any other state in the U.S.

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17 more reader comments:

  1. Sad

    Posted on Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 1:22pm
  2. No wonder so few lgbtq live there ! The future will come however. The good folk of ND will wake up one day — with a kiss ?

    Posted on Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 1:24pm
  3. They only protect their kind : homophobic shitholes!!!

    Posted on Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 1:25pm
  4. The jerk-asses live on hate.

    Posted on Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 1:28pm
  5. Glad they’re freezing then.

    Posted on Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 1:30pm
  6. What do expect from the Bible Belt?

    Posted on Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 1:30pm
  7. Stupid ass bible thumpers

    Posted on Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 1:36pm
  8. This is sad

    Posted on Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 2:02pm
  9. North Dakota’s legislators, still living in the last century, with their intolerance, bigotry and HATE!!

    Posted on Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 2:15pm
  10. Discrimination of any kind in this day and age is just ridiculous. You replace the word “anti-gay” with “anti-Semitic” or “anti-African-American,” and there would be riots. Sometimes I’m ashamed to say I live in this country, and the number one reason for that is that religion has too strong a hold on our citizens and, even more frightening, on our government. Stay strong ND LGBTQ! From an ally. :)

    Posted on Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 2:18pm
  11. ND is an extremely conservative state. When I lived there in 1979 and 1980, they temporarily shut down the state’s only women’s shelter for domestic violence victims because “it encouraged women to run away from their husbands”. They are decades behind the rest of the Union on social and gender issues. They are very close to shutting down the state’s last abortion provider in Fargo. So not passing an anti-discrimination law for GLBT people is not surprising at all. It would be shocking if they did. It’s truly a backwards place in most of the state, esp the rural regions-which is most of the state!

    Posted on Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 2:35pm
  12. As a born and raised North Dakotan, this makes me sad to see this news. Then again I am very familiar with the conservative decisions, so it shouldn’t be surprising. It is upsetting how far behind a state I care for is, but then again, there are some great people in the state that are continually pushing forward. Patience is a virtue.

    Posted on Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 2:54pm
  13. Hopefully the bill will see the light of day in the near future and it will pass.

    Posted on Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 4:10pm
  14. It was a close vote though!

    Posted on Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 4:33pm
  15. Good to know I’m not welcome in my own freaking state.

    Posted on Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 4:38pm
  16. And this type of thing is why we need Federal legislation, it is simply too important a matter for each State to decide…imagine if The Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been left up to each State? Please!

    Posted on Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 10:19pm
  17. Posted on Sunday, February 17, 2013 at 11:18am