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Politics & Government

Bill would add 'sexual orientation' to anti-discrimination laws

The North Dakota Legislature is being asked to include “sexual orientation” in its laws dealing with discrimination.

The bill was introduced in the Senate -- and has sponsors in both houses.

"Passage of this bill will insure we're looking out for all families in our state, and guaranteeing that they are comfortable enough in their living spaces and work spaces to be who they truly are," said Rep. Kylie Oversen (D-Grand Forks). "This legislation is a business issue, and, more importantly, a family issue."

Members of the LGBT community say they worry about losing jobs and housing – because they aren’t protected.

"As a gay male, and open and proud, I do not wish to fear for myself any longer," said Andrew Adams of Bismarck, president of Dakota OutRight. "I feat that my landlord may evict me, even though I make my rent payments early. To fear that my employer may terminate me because my partner is a male, even though I have increased productivity and efficiency with every job I have had over the last two years."

Adams says even though he is considered an upstanding and productive member of society, he is seen as a 'second class citizen' in the eyes of the law.

A similar bill was introduced in 2009. It passed the Senate, but was killed in the House.

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