Video: ND Senate Shoots Down Bill Banning Discrimination Against Homosexuals


In its original form, SB2252 would have added homosexuals to North Dakota’s list of protected classes against whom employers and landlords cannot discriminate. The bill was amended in committee to remove homosexuals from the list of protected classes and state simply that North Dakota doesn’t condone discrimination against homosexuals.

The amended version of the bill was voted on by the state Senate today and defeated by a 20 – 27 vote. Democrats quickly moved to bring back the original version of the bill, and that was defeated as well by a narrower 21 – 26 vote.

Here’s the video of the debate:

I’m very supportive of gay rights, but here’s why I oppose adding them to the list of protected classes (and why I oppose creating protected classes under the law int he first place): We have freedom of association.

It’s this notion of free association that leads me to support gay marriage. I feel that homosexuals have a right to associate themselves sexually and emotionally with whoever they wish, and I think that right to association extends to social contracts like marriages. I don’t think the government ought to be dictating who we can and cannot associate ourselves with.

But the freedom of association is a two-edged sword. It doesn’t just mean you have a right to associate, but also that you have a right not to associate. Gay rights activists in favor of this law are actually being quite hypocritical when they argue that businesses don’t have the right to choose not to associate with them. If gays want society to recognize their right to association, shouldn’t gays also recognize the right of others to associate (or not associate) in accordance with their conscience?

I detest discrimination based on arbitrary and bigoted notions about race, sexual orientation, gender, religion, etc. I would gladly boycott any business engaged in that sort of discrimination. But I won’t support laws making attitudes an opinions I disagree with illegal.

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • Game


    I cannot get the video to play, may be a little issue.

    I disagree with you on your “free market solves everything” approach, but for what it is worth, I appreciate your fidelity to your beliefs.

    • Rob

      I’ll check on the video.

      And free markets always work. Maybe not always as fast as we like, but few good things find from government trying to force social change.

  • Kevin Flanagan

    What is the legal standard for “gayness?”

    • sbark

      ……thats a moving target, unless you can shoot “skeet”… not with a shotgun

      • Kevin Flanagan

        Does it involve wearing “mom jeans?”

  • Chris Brownell

    Well said Rob. The problem is the liberal left will gladly paint you with the label of bigot because you disagree with their demand to be “extra equal”. (Think Animal Farm)
    So you are left with the MSNBC type of group thought that if you disagree with the Gay Lobby or Obama then you are a white hate filled bigot. People don’t like to be treated that way.

  • yy4u2

    Grow a pair. People disagree on stuff every day n all day. If it’s because you n your manpanion got denied for who knows what, try being a straight white single male trying to get a grant for college. Ain’t gonna happen. Is that fair or just social justice?

  • Anon

    So we can presume Rob favors the entire repeal such protections. If an employer wants to fire someone for being a women or elderly or a restaurant doesn’t want to serve black people, the reasoning of “freedom of association” applies just as there as it does in this situation.

    • Roy_Bean

      When you start to define who is protected by law then, by default, you start to define who is not protected. Laws should provide equal protection to everyone.

      • Guest

        So? There’s always a duality when it comes to laws. By making certain things illegal, you start making certain legal, e.g. by making speeding illegal we make other activities implicitly legal. It’s doesn’t necessarily follow that such a result means we shouldn’t ever bother making laws toward any particular end. Laws like this do help provide equal protection by protecting unpopular minorities from being discriminated against in procuring necessary things like employment and housing. Moreover, freedom of association is still protected, you’re not forced to live with someone you don’t want or hang out with them. All such laws do is ensure that such often unpopular, less powerful groups aren’t denied basic things like housing and employment over things they cannot control because of the irrational bigotry of others.

        Moreover, it’s also a flat to argue that only some people are being protected and not others. The laws don’t protect gays, african americans, etc. It protects against discrimination on the basis of orientation and race, which are qualities everyone has. It’s not surprising idiots like you don’t even understand the issue but aren’t precluded from having already decided a position on it.

    • Rob

      You’re right, I don’t think its appropriate to create special protected classes in the law.

  • nimrod

    There should be no protected classes, as they turn into privileged classes. The laws of economics make everything work out, as the business who caters to everyone will probably have a higher profit and eventually take over the business who doesn’t.

  • JoeMN

    I believe the institution of marriage should be taken back from the state, particularly since government now has the competing interest of promoting single parenthood to grow dependency