North Dakota lawmakers again kill bill banning discrimination against gays

North Dakota state capitol in Bismark

North Dakota state capitol in Bismark

North Dakota state capitol in Bismark

North Dakota state capitol in Bismark

BISMARCK, N.D. — For the third time in six years, the North Dakota Legislature has killed legislation that would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.

North Dakota’s Senate approved the measure in February but House members voted to defeat the bill on Thursday.

Similar legislation failed during the 2009 and 2013 sessions.

The bipartisan legislation introduced this session would add sexual orientation to the list of classes of individuals who are specifically protected against discrimination.

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Opponents of the measure say it’s unnecessary, and argued it could force businesses and religious organizations to go against their own convictions.

Backers say many LGBT people fear they could lose their jobs or residences under current state law.

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