Thu. Jul 29th, 2021

The Washington, D.C.-based Human Rights Campaign in April cited the bill as anti-LGBTQ, saying “student organizations can now choose to turn away a range of potential members and leaders — from LGBTQ students to students of particular gender, race, or religious belief — and still receive state funding.”

House Minority Leader Josh Boschee, D-Fargo, the state’s only openly gay lawmaker, opposed the bill for a variety of issues, and said he didn’t recall during the session “any specific conversation related to impacting LGBT students, but I know, more universally, this impacting a broad range of students.”

Before being first elected in 2012, Boschee worked in higher education student activities for 10 years at North Dakota State University and Minnesota State University Moorhead.

He viewed the bill as unnecessary, seeing colleges and universities already having sufficient policies in place for campus free speech. He called California’s concerns legitimate, but small in likelihood.

LGBTQ groups didn’t have the bandwidth during the 2021 Legislature to oppose the bill parallel to another that would have restricted transgender girls in K-12 sports, according to Prairie Action Executive Director Amy Jacobson.