Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee said they agreed with the intent of the bill, but that it was poorly written and would be difficult to enforce.

BISMARCK, N.C. – Like more than a dozen states consider passing anti-transgender legislation this year, North Dakota lawmakers rejected a bill on Friday that would have forced people to pay $1,500 each time they referred to themselves or others by a gender pronoun other than the one they were assigned at birth.

“The primary purpose of the bill was to eliminate public funding for organizations, including educational institutions, that promote, enable or support transgender ideology,” said Republican sponsor Sen. David Clemens of West Fargo. Others testified at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday that the bill is designed to discriminate and could affect the state’s behavioral health workers.

According to the voting results, 39 senators voted against the bill and eight – for it.

Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee said they agreed with the intent of the bill, but that it was poorly written and would be difficult to enforce. It would also harm people who don’t identify as transgender and possibly violate First Amendment rights, they said.

Christina Sambor of the North Dakota Coalition for Human Rights spoke out against the bill on Wednesday. “Its very purpose is gender discrimination,” Sambor said.

Reid Elliot Rorich, who identifies as transgender, added that the bill is a “poorly conceived affront to human rights.”

Dan Kramer, a psychologist and clinical director at the state Department of Health and Human Services, said it would create “significant challenges” for human service centers in meeting basic accreditation standards and funding requirements. These standards prohibit discrimination against customers based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Republican Sen. Janne Myrdahl of Edinburg voted against the bill, but said she plans to support others who share her belief “that God gives you your identity and your gender at conception.”

North Dakota lawmakers will consider other bills this session that would prevent transgender and non-binary people from using their preferred pronouns, criminalize doctors who provide gender-affirming care, deter transgender youth from joining school sports teams, punish drag performers and more .

More than two dozen bills seek limit transgender people’s access to health care have been introduced in at least 11 other states — Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Virginia — for legislative sessions that begin in early 2023. Bills targeting other transgender issues have been filed in many of the same states and are pending in several others with GOP majorities.

Rarich, who testified against the bill, said he lived in North Dakota until he was 25, but left there in 2016 after a “series of escalations” in anti-LGBTQ violence.

“I could wax poetic about the rolling prairies or how much I miss the vastness of the sky,” he said of North Dakota. “But I can’t make you see me as human.”

Political News: Recent Coverage ⬇️

Previous articleNikki Haley is losing a top staffer to Pence
Next articleThe Minister of Defense calls on allies to increase aid to Ukraine