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Politics & Government

LGBT anti-discrimination law killed in the ND House

The North Dakota House has rejected a bill to add the term “sexual orientation” to the state’s anti-discrimination law.

The bill had earlier passed the Senate.

The House Human Services Committee recommended that the bill be defeated. The committee chairman -- Rep. Robin Weisz (R-Hurdsfield) told his House colleagues the bill makes the gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual community a protected class – and it would not end discrimination.

"Nothing in what our state does says that we discriminate or discourage people -- regardless of who they are, what they do or what their lifestyle is," said Weisz. "North Dakota has always encouraged diversity. This bill isn't going to change that."

"Do we condone discrimination if we vote no? Absolutely not," said House Majority Leader Al Carlson (R-Fargo).

Rep. Corey Mock (D-Grand Forks) said he agrees that the bill by itself will not fix problems with discrimination.

"But I will tell you -- it sends a message that we as a state will not tolerate that," said Mock "It sends a message to everybody that you are equal, and shall be measured on your merit and ability alone. And never should the question of who you love jeopardize your ability to succeed in the great state of North Dakota."

"This 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy that we have is wholly unwelcoming," said Rep. Gail Mooney (D-Cummings).

In a parliamentary move, the bill was split into two sections.  The first portion of the bill failed on a 30-to-61 vote, and the second part failed 35 to 56.

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