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North Dakota State Senate Passes Anti-Discrimination Legislation

The North Dakota state Senate approved a bill yesterday that would expand the state’s Human Rights Act to protect gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people in a 27 to 19 vote. The state Senate Judiciary Committee had voted 6 to 0 in favor of passing the bill earlier this week, according to the North Dakota Human Rights Coalition. The legislation will now move to the state House.

The bill would prohibit discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations and services, insurance, and credit. According to InForum, an amendment to the bill exempts religious organizations from the proposed law. The state’s Human Rights Act already prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, race, age, religion, national origin, marital status, disability, and public assistance status.

Democratic state Senator Tom Fiebiger, the bill’s primary sponsor, told the Associated Press that “if someone is not doing their job or habituyally tardy, or doesn’t get along with people, they can still be fired, whether gay, lesbian, or straight… what employers can’t do under this law is fire someone because they are gay.”

Sources:

Associated Press 2/20/09; North Dakota Human Rights Coalition; InForum 2/19/09

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