North Dakota governor signs anti-trans pronoun bill into law

Bismarck, North Dakota - North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum on Monday signed the state's latest anti-LGBTQ+ bill into law, allowing teachers and state employees to misgender their transgender and non-binary students and colleagues.

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum signed a bill into law allowing teachers and state employees to misgender their transgender and non-binary students and colleagues.
North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum signed a bill into law allowing teachers and state employees to misgender their transgender and non-binary students and colleagues.  © IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

The legislation, House Bill 1522, also requires teachers to tell parents or guardians if a student is transgender, and requires parental approval for the student to use the bathroom corresponding with their gender identity.

The measure, passed with a veto-proof GOP majority, has received fierce backlash from trans rights advocates, who describe it is a grave infringement on the constitutional rights of students and teachers.

"By signing House Bill 1522, Gov. Burgum is forcing transgender students to make the impossible decision of breaking the law or revealing their private medical information – not to mention the obvious risk of harassment and violence that comes with forcing transgender students into the [facilities] that do not match their gender identity," Cody Schuler of the ACLU of North Dakota said in a statement. "It is quite clear whose privacy and very lives are really at risk now that House Bill 1522 is law."

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"Additionally, mandatory outing of a student’s trans identity violates their privacy rights at school – particularly for trans youth who cannot be safe at home," he continued.

"Creating a supportive working and learning environment also requires treating people with dignity and respect, including – at a minimum – calling them by the name and pronouns they want to use."

North Dakota Republicans pass slew of anti-trans legislation

North Dakota has passed a slew of bills this session targeting transgender residents' participation in public life.
North Dakota has passed a slew of bills this session targeting transgender residents' participation in public life.  © ALLISON DINNER / AFP

HB 1522 was just one of several anti-trans bills passed this session.

Burgum, a Republican, has signed legislation banning trans athletes from participating on women's sports teams from K-12 and in college.

North Dakota has moved to criminalize health care providers who give gender-affirming care to minors and limit transgender children and adults from using public facilities that align with their gender identity.

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Last month, North Dakota Republicans passed similar legislation, Senate Bill 2231, that would have permitted state employees and teachers to misgender staff and students, but failed to override Burgum's veto of the bill.

The latest pronoun law goes into effect immediately.

Cover photo: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

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