May 2, 2023
North Dakota House fails to override Gov. Burgum’s veto of transgender pronoun ban
The North Dakota House of Representatives recently failed to override Governor Doug Burgum's veto of a bill that would have banned transgender individuals from using the bathroom or locker room that aligns with their gender identity. The bill, which was passed by the House in March, would have required schools and other public entities to designate separate facilities for transgender individuals.
Governor Burgum, a Republican, vetoed the bill in April, stating that it would have been unnecessary and divisive. He also noted that the bill would have violated federal law and put the state at risk of losing federal funding.
The House attempted to override the veto on May 4th, but fell short of the necessary two-thirds majority vote. The final vote was 67-25, with 58 votes needed to override the veto.
The bill had been strongly opposed by LGBTQ+ advocates and civil rights groups, who argued that it would have discriminated against transgender individuals and violated their rights. They also pointed out that there have been no reported incidents of transgender individuals causing harm in bathrooms or locker rooms.
Supporters of the bill argued that it was necessary to protect the privacy and safety of cisgender individuals, particularly women and girls. They also claimed that allowing transgender individuals to use the bathroom or locker room that aligns with their gender identity would have opened the door to sexual predators.
The failure to override the veto is a victory for transgender rights in North Dakota, but the fight is far from over. Similar bills have been introduced in other states, and the issue of transgender rights is likely to remain a contentious one for some time to come.
In the meantime, it is important for all individuals to be treated with respect and dignity, regardless of their gender identity. Discrimination and harassment have no place in our society, and we must continue to work towards a more inclusive and accepting world for all.