On Thursday, the North Dakota legislature approved a bill that would allow all public school teachers in the state, as well as government employees, to freely ignore any “preferred pronouns” requested of them by students or colleagues.
As Fox News reports, the bill passed in the State Senate by a margin of 40 to 6. Just two days prior, the State House had approved the bill by a margin of 68 to 22.
The bill also forbids public school students from using the restroom of their choice unless they have been given permission by a parent or guardian. Public school teachers will also be required to inform parents if their student identifies as “transgender.”
State Representative Karen Rohr (R-N.D.), who voted for the bill, said that the bill was written using language that Governor Doug Burgum (R-N.D.) has said “he would have no objections to signing.” The bill, Representative Rohr added, is “also consistent with the governor’s statement that parents should be involved when these situations arise.”
However, both majorities in favor of the bill were so large that the bill could become law without Burgum’s signature after a three-day period, or by a veto override by the legislature if Burgum decides to veto it. But if Burgum does ultimately sign it, it will become law immediately.
Burgum has expressed more reluctance on such anti-transgender bills than most other Republican governors. Back in March, he vetoed a similar bill dealing with preferred pronouns, with the Senate voting to override his veto but the House ultimately upholding his veto, thus leading to the introduction of the new bill. The current bill ties the pronouns requirement into the section dealing with restroom access in public schools.
But other bills that have been signed into law by Burgum recently include a ban on “transgender” children and adults using restrooms, locker rooms, or showers in public university dormitories and correctional facilities, as well as a bill making it a crime to provide healthcare to minors based solely on their “gender identity,” and a ban on biological men from joining women’s sports in grade school and college.