Guest Post: Protect North Dakota Gays From Discrimination

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I consider myself a Republican and I deeply support SB 2252 which would protect members of the LGBT community against discrimination in employment and housing. I support this bill because of my republicanism. I believe in one’s right and control of property. I feel that it would be unjust for a landlord to kick out a tenant because they were gay. All tenants should have what Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story termed as a “free enjoyment of their property.” Consider a cognitive exercise: Should landlords be able to kick out their tenants for any legal behavior that occurs inside their home? What about a landlord that disagrees with their tenant in regards to gun control? Would that be ok?

For the sake of this argument let’s just assume that homosexuality is entirely a choice. Even if this assumption were true then my belief in the free exercise of conscience and thought prevails. One has a right to do or think as they please in their home as long as it is legal. Homosexuality is not illegal. It is also unjust for someone to be fired from a job due to their outside-of-work legal activity. This bill does protect churches and other religious organizations to be free to hire those that share their religious beliefs.

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (often referred to as ‘Mormons’) and I remain unequivocally committed to defending the bedrock foundation of marriage between a man and a woman. SB 2252 has nothing to do with marriage. Per the North Dakota Constitution, marriage “consists only of the legal union between a man and a woman” (N.D. Const. Art. XI, § 28) and that will only be changed by a voter referendum or the US Supreme Court.

I support this bill because it is fair and reasonable. I urge North Dakota House Republicans to overcome their initial disapproval to this bill and think about what the right of property really means to them.

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Tim Heise is a law student at the Unviersity of North Dakota

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