A months-long discussion in the North Dakota House and Senate finally ended today when Governor Doug Burgum chose to veto House Bill 1298 — a bill that sought to prohibit transgender youth from participating in sports.
In the past few months, Magic City Equality, as well as other LGBTQ2S+ organizations in North Dakota (and across the nation, where similar bills have been introduced, and unfortunately passed) have argued the bill is unnecessary and discriminatory. These organizations and individuals called on Burgum the moment it passed in the Senate last week. We all rejoice as Gov. Burgum has vetoed the bill.
Conversely, the LGBTQ2S+ community in North Dakota mourns as Governor Burgum, signed into law House Bill 1503 — a bill that gives high school and collegiate student groups a free pass to discriminate against LGBTQ2S+ students — all under the guise of free speech. As stated by Alphonso David, Human Rights Campaign President, HB1503 "undermines non-discrimination policies at colleges, universities, and high schools across the state." David added in a statement Wednesday: "Student organizations can now choose to turn away range of potential members and leaders — from LGBTQ students to students of particular gender, race, or religious beliefs — and still receive state funding." David further stated this bill "is nothing more than a harmful attempt" for Burgum and state legislators to discriminate against "LGBTQ and other marginalized communities." Magic City Equality and the LGBTQ2S+ community will not remain silent while this direct attack on diverse students of color and faith is signed into law. We agree with HRC that no student "should be denied full access to and enjoyment of educational, social, and leadership opportunities typically offered by colleges and universities because of who they are." Therefore, Magic City Equality acknowledges this direct attack the North Dakota Governor and the legislation has placed on the LGBTQ2S+ community and we at Magic City Equality do not stand for bigotry, nor will we accept it.
Governor Burgum, you NEED TO DO BETTER and not divide our state. WE, THE PEOPLE, deserve a leader who will bring our state into an era of acceptance and equality.