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House rejects anti-discrimination bill for sexual orientation

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The North Dakota House has rejected a bill to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

The chairman of the House Human Services Committee, Rep. Robin Weisz (R-Hurdsfield), told the House that when his committee heard the bill, there wasn’t much compelling testimony about this kind of discrimination happening in North Dakota.

"North Dakota is open and inviting," Weisz said. "The state needs workers, and the last thing employers are going to do is not hire someone just because of their sexual orientation."

Rep. Mary Schneider (D-Fargo) said she was asked by some of her constituents to vote against the bill, because it did not cover trans-gender individuals. But she told the House she was voting 'yes.'

"Because non-discrimination bills are hard-fought, and advances in human rights are slow, and at a pace I regret, I'm going to vote for this bill," Schneider said. "I'm for an advance we can make for anyone in this state who suffers from discrimination."

The measure failed on a 70 to 22 vote.

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