January 23, 2019
Senate Judiciary Committee
Testimony in Opposition to SB 2303
Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, my name is Linda Thorson, and I am the State Director for Concerned Women for America (CWA) of North Dakota. We are the state’s largest public policy women’s organization and our country’s largest public policy women’s organization with over 500,000 members. We are here today on behalf of our North Dakota members in opposition to SB 2303, relating to the prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
A choice has been put before you today – vote to defend traditional values held for hundreds of years or mollify activists by adopting a bill that would elevate “gender, gender identity & sexual orientation” to protected civil rights status.
CWA of North Dakota opposes SB 2303 for the following reasons:
- SB 2303 is not necessary because special rights have historically been afforded to certain groups in order to ensure that individuals are not discriminated against due to immutable characteristics. North Dakota law already protects these characteristics.
- SB 2303 creates discrimination, not eliminates it. In general, when “sexual orientation” or “gender identity” is added to legal or corporate nondiscrimination code, it is a giant step toward the adoption of policies that discriminate against people with traditional views.
- SB 2303 will create a hostile climate for many employees and citizens, and open businesses and individuals up to government intrusion and lawsuits. The LGBT movement’s strategy has been to transform morality into a form of bigotry, and then use government power to eliminate that “bigotry.” SB 2303 will put the law on their side to carry this out.
- SB 2303 has limited exemptions for those with personal convictions, thus forcing individuals to accept and support sexual behaviors with which they have a moral disagreement. Those exemptions apply only to those associated with religious organizations or societies. Private businesses, organizations, and individuals that hold convictions outside of religious reasons are not exempt from being forced to follow this law.
If we allow “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to become a matter of law and policy, it will reach into our workplaces, our schools, and our families creating a society that no longer has “equal protection under the law.” This will surely challenge the common sense, strength of character and founding principles on which this great nation and state were built.
We urge your “Do Not Pass” vote on SB 2303. Your consideration of this request is appreciated.