In a state lacking legislation against discrimination based on sexual orientation, North Dakota State is a bastion of protections.
The university was the first North Dakota University System institution to offer protections against discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation. Despite the campus’s non-discrimination action, North Dakota does not offer such protections.
The state legislature struck down a spring senate bill banning discriminatory action against LGBT individuals in regard to housing, government services and the workplace.
According to S.B. 2279, “sexual orientation” means “actual or perceived heterosexuality, bisexuality, homosexuality, or gender identity,” while gender identity is defined as “actual or perceived gender-related identity, appearance, or mannerisms or other gender-related characteristics of an individual, regardless of the individual’s designated gender at birth.”
The bill was approved by the Senate and was brought to the floor of the House where it was killed in a 56-35 vote.
This move in April was the third time in six years that North Dakota’s legislature has killed legislation prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation.
The Forum reported that 21 states, including Minnesota, have laws protecting against discrimination based on a worker’s sexual orientation.
Seven years ago, NDSU added gender identity and expression to its non-discrimination statement.
“Some people felt that when the Supreme Court ruled that marriage rights be extended to everyone that this was fantastic but that there were certain ramifications to people taking advantages of their rights that would put them at risk for housing or in the workplace,” said Kara Gravley-Stack, University Initiatives director and LGBTQ coordinator.
The Associated Press reported Indiana and Arkansas both approved revisions to religion freedom laws regarding discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender and identity.
In an LGBT policy tally map on Movement Advancement Project’s website, North Dakota, as well as Arkansas and Indiana, is categorized as a low “policy tally” state.
The site uses “policy tally” to count the number of laws and policies that help drive equality for LGBT people within each state.
A low policy tally is scored as 0-3.99. North Dakota ranks at 1.50 for number of positive policies within the state for the LGBT community, remaining in the majority as one of over 25 states that do not offer policies against discrimination for housing, government services and the workplaces.