ND Catholic organization pushes back on UND’s proposed gender policy

University of North Dakota
University of North Dakota(University of North Dakota)
Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 6:48 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - There’s controversy over a proposed gender inclusion policy at the University of North Dakota.

The North Dakota Catholic Conference wrote a letter to parents of students attending Catholic high schools about the policy, asking them to “examine the campus environment [at UND] and whether it is conducive or hostile to not only the Catholic faith but also the truth about the human person.”

One facet of the proposed policy says “Intentionally misgendering an individual (addressing or referring to them with a name, pronoun, or in another manner that is inconsistent with their disclosed gender) may be considered a violation of UND’s Discrimination and Harassment policy.”

Officials at the NDCC say the proposed policy would be unconstitutional.

“The problem is the policy is so broad in one direction that it doesn’t make it a friendly and inclusive place for people that think that gender is biologically determined. So, it goes both ways here. It would be laudable for the university to stick to, ‘what do we need to do to prevent intentional harassments of students, so that they have a safe environment to learn in?’ But this policy went well beyond that,” said Christopher Dodson, executive director of the North Dakota Catholic Conference.

The policy hasn’t been finalized yet and there is no timeline for when it might be. In response to the Catholic Conference’s letter, UND’s president, Andrew Armacost, said on Wednesday some of the claims made about the policy “simply aren’t true.” He also said, “our draft policy is intended to protect transgender members from harassment and discrimination, consistent with those federal laws and state policies.”

For more on this, tune in tomorrow, as we’ll cover the school’s virtual press conference to discuss the proposed policy.

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