Magic City Equality was deeply disappointed to hear about the passing of House Bill 1298. On April 14, the North Dakota House of Representatives voted 69-25 in favor of it. This afternoon (April 16), the North Dakota Senate voted 27-20 in favor of it. The furthering of this bill is another step toward damaging the LGBTQ2S+ community - particularly transgender youth – in North Dakota.
We echo the words of Sen. JoNell Bakke (D), who stated prior to the vote that HB1298 is “a mean-spirited and discriminatory piece of legislation that has no place in this chamber.” We could not agree more. As some Senators stated before the final vote, this is not an issue that North Dakotans face. It is finding a solution before the problem.
The second annual National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health, conducted by The Trevor Project, uncovered that 60 percent of trans and non-binary youth surveyed engaged in self-harm over the last twelve months. It is ironic that Haley Wolfe, Miss North Dakota, spoke before the Senate floor meeting today about her platform on suicide prevention. The Senators who voted yes on HB1298, while perhaps nodding in agreement and understanding of suicide prevention, then went on to vote yes on a bill that has the potential to be detrimental to the mental health of trans youth, who will face further exclusion in lives that are already full of segregation.
Magic City Equality would like to thank the following Senators, who voted No on this bill: Sen. Howard Anderson (R), Sen. JoNell Bakke (D), Sen. Brad Bekkedahl (R), Sen. Jessica Bell (R), Sen. Kyle Davison (R), Sen. Dick Dever (R), Sen. Joan Heckaman (D), Sen. KathyHogan (D), Sen. Ray Holmberg (R), Sen. Karen Krebsbach (R), Sen. CurtKreun (R), Sen. Richard Marcellais (D), Sen. Tim Mathern (D), Sen. Erin Oban (D), Sen. Dave Oehlke (R), Sen. Merrill Piepkorn (D), Sen. Nicole Poolman (R), Sen. Kristin Roers (R), and Sen. Ronald Sorvaag (R). The voting results show that this bill is indeed non-partisan as both Democratic and Republican Senators voted no.
Now, as HB 1298 goes to the desk of Governor Doug Burgum, Magic City Equality calls on him to please VETO this bill and end HB1298 before it becomes a law. We call on you to contact Governor Burgum’s office to remind him that Discrimination is NOT a North Dakota value – and to veto HB1298! Contact Governor Burgum's office today!