Democratic-NPL to NDGOP Legislature: Withdraw HB 1298

Bismarck, ND – Following a bizarre, off-the-rails rant from Sen. Janne Myrdal (R-Edinburg), the North Dakota Senate amended HB 1298 to a study on a 32-15 vote. The bill will now go to a conference committee.

The bill – which has drawn comparisons to North Carolina’s infamous HB2 for its senseless targeting against transgender persons – seeks to bar students from participating in school sports based on their gender-identity. The overwhelming backlash against HB2 caused severe economic, legal, and political repercussions in the state, until its eventual repeal. The same repercussions are expected in North Dakota if HB 1298, in its original form, should become law.

Democratic-NPL Chair, Kylie Oversen, responded to today’s action:

“While hatred was spewed on the Senate floor today, the NDGOP quickly attempted to save face. But the honest truth is, we don’t need a study to tell us what we already know: HB 1298 serves no other purpose than to dehumanize transgender persons. As similar legislation is enacted in other states, we can already see the number of lawsuits being drafted in real time. Instead of wasting taxpayer dollars on this bigotry, the NDGOP should cut their losses and rescind this detestable piece of legislation.”

Oversen continued:

“HB 1298 is nothing less than clear-cut civil rights abuse, as well as a gross invasion of privacy. If the extremist legislators who pushed this bill get their way, legal action and economic backlash will likely follow as a consequence. Today’s decision gives the legislature one last chance to avoid that fate; and instead show some compassion, and political courage, by rejecting this measure entirely. Regardless of how many times the NDGOP tries to move the goalposts, let there be no question about it: HB 1298 is evil. HB 1298 is heartless. HB 1298 is cruel. The Dem-NPL condemns it wholeheartedly, and we pledge to continue standing proudly alongside the transgender community in the fight for inclusion, liberty, and justice.”