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


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

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

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

Two bills were returned to the House after the Senate added amendments. They would ban trans people in the state from updating the gender on their birth certificates and would ban facilities in the state from allowing trans people to use restrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity.

Cathryn Oakley, state legislative director and senior counsel for the Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement that the 10 bills “have the sole purpose of pushing LGBTQ+ people back into the closet” and urged Burgum to reject them. .

“It’s shameful, but not surprising, that instead of spending their day trying to tackle the real issues facing North Dakotans, Bismarck’s extremist lawmakers were working vigorously to agitate the furthest fringes of their grassroots – and now some of their most marginalized constituents could pay the price,” Oakley said in the statement.

It is unclear whether Burgum will support the measures. Last week, he vetoed a bill that would have allowed school personnel to deceive transgender students and prohibited school districts from adopting “any policy or practice regarding expressed gender.” The Senate overruled its veto, but the House was unable to obtain the two-thirds majority needed to uphold the waiver.

In a letter to Senate Speaker Tammy Miller regarding her veto, Burgum said the bill’s ambiguity “would lead to lawsuits and put teachers in the precarious position of trying to figure out how to refer to students without violating the law”.

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

North Dakota’s legislation is part of a nationwide wave: State lawmakers have introduced more than 450 bills targeting the LGBTQ community so far this year, according to the American Civil Liberties Union and a separate group of researchers. that follow the flow of legislation.

More than half target transgender youth by limiting their access to transition-related care — such as puberty blockers, hormone therapy and surgery — or school sports teams.

If North Dakota’s health care and sports restrictions become law, it will become the 14th state to restrict transition-related health care for minors and the 20th to restrict participation of trans students in school sports. .

During debate on the health care bill on Monday, Sen. Keith Boehm, a Republican, falsely claimed that puberty blockers permanently sterilize children and called transition care “mutilation.” children,” according to KFGO, a local public radio station.

“If someone, as an adult, wants to sterilize themselves or cut off body parts, they have every right to do so — not children,” Boehm said, according to KFGO.

Democratic Senator Ryan Braunberger spoke out against the bills on Monday and said that as a young gay man, laws restricting LGBTQ rights contributed to his decision to attempt suicide.

“I was lucky to survive this suicide attempt – to be here – but many others didn’t and won’t,” Braunberger said. If the bills pass, then “kids like me across the state will feel like the world is against them. They will end up feeling like they can’t go on anymore.

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