Bill would ban use of certain personal pronouns in ND

Published: Jan. 18, 2023 at 1:20 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - UPDATE (1/20): ND lawmakers reject bill that would ban use of certain personal pronouns

ORIGINAL STORY (1/18): A controversial bill has been introduced by lawmakers involving language surrounding transgender people.

House Bill 2199 would basically do two things. First, it would change the definition of gender to the following: “Words used to reference an individual’s sex, gender, gender identity, or gender expression, mean the individual’s determined sex at birth, male or female.” To clarify, that means, under the proposed bill, someone’s sex at birth would, by state law, be their gender. The second thing it would do would be to require all pronouns used to reflect that definition of gender.

If someone involved in an organization that receives state funding, including public schools, violated the proposed law, they would receive a fine of $1,500.

“Say, they’re a boy, but they come to school and say they’re a girl. As far as that school is concerned in this bill, that person is still a boy. If it becomes contested, the burden will be on the girl, the so-called girl, or the boy, to prove that he is a girl,” said Senator David Clemens, R-West Fargo.

Opponents to the bill were many — there were more than 90 pieces of testimony submitted urging the committee to give this bill a “no” vote.

“Respectfully, I see no way this law would pass any sort of legal challenge based on basic legal construction principles. It’s vague, fails to advance any legitimate state interests, and not only would cause impermissible, gender-based discrimination, its very purpose is gender-based discrimination,” said Christina Sambor with the ND Human Rights Coalition.

Apart from the bill’s sponsor, there wasn’t any testimony in favor of the bill.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted unanimously to give this bill a “do not pass” recommendation. Next, it goes to the Senate floor.