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House passes re-worked 'transgender sports' bill

The House has passed an amended version of a bill that would require grade-school and high-school athletes to compete in sports according to their birth gender.

That’s how the House originally passed HB 1298. The Senate made it into a study. But in conference committee, the House language was added back, and the study was kept.

Rep. Kathy Skroch (R-Lidgerwood) was on that conference committee – and she urged the House to pass it.

"This is a bill in good form, and which is important in protecting female athletes of North Dakota," Skroch said.

Rep. Mary Schneider (D-Fargo) called the bill “cruel.”

"It's unkind, it's un-Christian, it's unjustified, it's unnecessary, it's unconstitutional," Schneider said. "It's unfortunate that we will harm a very vulnerable group of children -- those with the highest rates of depression and suicide, while we send a message to other kids that it's okay to discriminate."

The bill passed 69 to 25. The conference committee report now goes to the state Senate, for further work.

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