North Dakota Republicans fail to override veto of anti-trans pronoun bill

Bismarck, North Dakota - Republicans in North Dakota failed to secure the votes needed to override a veto on an anti-LGBTQ+ bill that would have permitted state employees and teachers to misgender staff and students.

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum's veto of a bill that would prevent transgender people from being referred to with their preferred pronouns will stand after a failed House vote to override it.
North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum's veto of a bill that would prevent transgender people from being referred to with their preferred pronouns will stand after a failed House vote to override it.  © STEPHEN YANG / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

The North Dakota House voted 56-36 in favor of overriding Governor Doug Burgum's veto of Senate Bill 2231, failing to secure the required two-thirds majority to push the legislation through.

All 12 Democrats in the House voted against the bill, and they were joined by 24 Republicans.

SB 2231 would have prohibited public schools and state government entities from enacting policies that would require employees to address trans people with pronouns consistent with their gender identity.

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Exceptions would have been made if the teacher got approval from the student's parents and a school administrator.

With the failed House vote, SB 2231 will not take effect.

Gov. Doug Burgum vetoes SB 2231

North Dakota's SB 2231 was just one of a growing number of anti-trans bills being put forward by Republicans across the country.
North Dakota's SB 2231 was just one of a growing number of anti-trans bills being put forward by Republicans across the country.  © OLI SCARFF / AFP

Governor Burgum, a Republican, vetoed the bill last week, but the state senate voted 37-9 to move it through anyway.

According to the Associated Press, the governor explained in a letter to state lawmakers that he thought it was going too far to ban schools from instituting policies, writing, "The teaching profession is challenging enough without the heavy hand of state government forcing teachers to take on the role of pronoun police."

"Parents, teachers and administrators using compassion, empathy and common sense can address individual and infrequent situations that may arise," he added.

Cover photo: Collage: OLI SCARFF / AFP & STEPHEN YANG / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP, OLI SCARFF / AFP

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