North Dakota Passes Bill Mandating Biological Bathrooms & Protecting Teachers Who Don't Use 'Preferred' Pronouns

P. Gardner Goldsmith | May 1, 2023
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Last week saw the North Dakota House and Senate pass a bill that some Americans might view as both an indicator of how far Cultural Marxism has infiltrated American politics and culture, and how difficult it is to run any political system without pitting portions of the culture against each other.

As KFYR’s Joel Crane reports, the legislators have sent to Governor Doug Burgum (R), HB 1522, a proposal that takes previous wording about pubic teacher pronoun use – a bill which Burgum vetoed -- and amps it up.

“Last month, Governor Burgum vetoed a bill relating to personal pronoun usage. The Legislature failed to override that veto. But today, lawmakers passed a separate bill that included the language from the vetoed bill.”

He adds:

“HB 1522 was originally a bill meant to prohibit students from using restrooms that don’t coincide with their sex at birth. It still does that, but it would also bar state agencies and public schools from adopting a policy that would require people to use a person’s preferred pronoun. It also requires teachers to tell parents about a student’s transgender status. Next, it heads to the Governor’s desk.”

As of this writing, Burgam has taken no action on the new version of the bill. But a few salient takeaways can be derived, and Fox News’ Elizabeth Pritchett lays out many of them.

“Senate lawmakers passed the bill 40-6 without debate on Thursday – two days after the House pushed the bill through with a 68-22 vote. Both chambers passed the legislation with a veto-proof majority, which means it could become law without Burgum's approval.”

Specifically, HB 1522 now not only lets public school teachers ignore student or co-worker demands that said teachers use the “preferred pronouns” the complainant demands, it prohibits public schools from allowing students who claim they are “trans” to enter anything but the bathrooms of their biological sex unless the student has permission from a parent or legal guardian.

So the bill stands as a counterpoint to the degenerating dynamic pushed in some other states and even in Canada, which, in 2017, saw the Parliament and PM Justin Trudeau pass C-16, a statute that lets the government punish business owners and employees who don’t use the “preferred pronouns” customers demand.

But is it really an answer?

Related: Oregon May Force Insurers To Cover Unwanted Hair Removal...For Transwomen, Of Course

States such as New York jumped into the garish limelight in 2019 when the NY Assembly passed S.1047/A.747, a bill mandating that places of “public accommodation” provide “transsexual” people access to the bathroom of their choice. The NY edict applied not only to politically-run locales, but also to private businesses – property that, since a destructive 1946 Supreme Court of the US (SCOTUS) decision in the case of “Marsh v. Alabama” and the Public Accommodations portion of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, politicians and bureaucrats have unjustifiably labeled “public” and told the owners how to operate.

In other words, that NY approach has opened private property establishments to the problems inherent in trying to manage public, tax-funded systems.

And the truth of the North Dakota matter is that, while some see HB1522 as a way to address the need for privacy in bathrooms and the need for teachers’ to use pronouns correctly, it doesn’t actually address the source of the long-term trouble.

Let’s consider a few unanswered questions…

HB 1522 supposedly reaffirms the free speech rights of teachers in the ND public schools to be able to ignore demands that they call others by the pronouns the others (students of colleagues) demand. But, are these public employees really supposed to have all free speech rights in a public school? Do the students have such rights? Do the taxpayers get to control the speech for which they are forced to pay, and how does that reflect on THEIR freedom of speech? Seeing only this aspect of the story is to blind oneself to the larger question of “speech and freedom” that arises when money is taken from people to fund a "public" institution.

It’s a big, long-standing problem, with wide-ranging implications.

Notes Pritchett:

“Republican Rep. Cynthia Schreiber-Beck said she opposes the bill because it doesn't go far enough, adding that private schools receiving state and federal funding should be included in the measure too.”

But the bill appears to be on the Governor’s agenda to sign. Pritchett also notes:

“Republican Rep. Karen Rohr, who supports the bill, said it includes language the governor has said ‘he would have no objections to signing,’ according to The Associated Press. She added that the legislation is ‘also consistent with the governor’s statement that parents should be involved when these situations arise.’"

So, as the managers of the public education leviathan try to manage what is, at its heart unmanageable and doesn’t allow for the freedom that market institutions allow, many conservatives in North Dakota might applaud a measure to address an immediate source of vexation.

But the heart of the problem remains. It is the idea that the government can demand from anyone that he must pay for “public education.” In that way, we all become tools of “public accommodation,” tools of political manipulation, and pugilists in a bureaucratic boxing match that only will end when we ring the final bell on government-funded schooling.

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