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State of North Dakota
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Current Status


HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE

  • Many people don't realize it used to be legal in some places to sterilize those identified as, or perceived to be, homosexual or "perverted" in another way related to sexual orientation or gender (transgender, Intersex). In addition to the usual sodomy and vagrancy laws used to arrest and punish gay people, in 1927 the ND law initially designed to permit the sterilization of mentally and physically disabled inmates (abhorrent in itself) was expanded to include anyone who the State authorities believed might be "habitual criminals, moral degenerates and sexual perverts." The forced sterilization law wasn't repealed until 1965.
  • No provision of North Dakota law explicitly addresses discrimination on the bases of sexual orientation or gender identity. Nor does North Dakota law address hate crimes based on gender identity or sexual orientation.
  • In 2012, Joshua Boschee was elected to the North Dakota State legislature. Representative Boschee is the first openly gay person to win a legislative seat in North Dakota.
  • Constitutional ban on same-sex marriage from 2004 until 26 June 2015, per North Dakota Constitutional Measure 1. Similar restrictions also appeared in the state statutes.

Legislation - Pending

SB 2279 - Prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation

Date Introduced: 19 January 2015
Author/Sponsor: Senators Nelson, Grabinger, and Warner; Representatives Beadle, Boschee, and Maragos

Description:

  • 19 January 2015, supporters of this legislation testified that the legislation is an “extension” of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, adding prohibitions against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity to existing North Dakota laws that prohibit discrimination based on such things as race, age, disability and political affiliation. . The bill has exemptions for religious organizations. Referred to the Judiciary Committee.
  • 2 February 2015, heard by the Judiciary Committee, which voted 4-2 to give the bill a “do not pass” recommendation.
  • 17 February 2015, the Senate passed the legislation 25-22, voting to send it to the House.
  • 17 February 2015, North Dakota Senate approves LGBT‑inclusive anti-discrimination bill - By James MacPherson, AP via LGBTQNation

 

 

Legislation - Enacted

N.D. Stat. 14 03 01 Marriage Contract What constitutes marriage – spouse defined

Author/Sponsor:
Date Introduced:
Date Enacted:

Description: State law reads: Marriage is a personal relation arising out of a civil contract between one man and one woman to which the consent of the parties is essential. The marriage relation may be entered into, maintained, annulled, or dissolved only as provided by law. A spouse refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife. 

Lawsuits - Pending

Jorgensen v. Montplaisir

Case #: 3:14-cv-00058
Date Filed: 9 June 2014
Date of Appeal:

Description:

  • 9 June 2014, a lawsuit was filed seeking recognition of same-sex marriages that were performed in other jurisdictions - on behalf of a couple married in Minnesota seeking to have their marriage recognized in North Dakota.
  • 1 July 2014, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss. 8 October 2014, the plaintiffs filed a Supplemental Brief in Support of Summary Judgement.
  • 20 January 2015, the judge put this case, and the other ND marriage case (Ramsey, immediately below), on hold. These are docket text only orders: "(Text Only) ORDER STAYING CASE pending a decision by the United States Supreme Court in four consolidated cases (14-556, 14-562, 14-571, 14-574) by Chief Judge Ralph R. Erickson.(SH) (Entered: 01/20/2015)"
Ramsay, et al. v Dalrymple

Case #: 3:14-cv-00057
Date Filed: 6 June 2014
Date of Appeal:

Description:

  • 6 June 2014, a lawsuit was filed on behalf of seven same-sex couples challenging both the state’s ban on same-sex marriage as well as its refusal to recognize legal marriages performed in other states.
  • 1 July 2014, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss.
  • 22 July 2014, the plaintiffs filed a Motion for Summary Judgment.
  • 20 January 2015, the judge put this case, and the other ND marriage case (Jorgensen, immediately above), on hold. These are docket text only orders: "(Text Only) ORDER STAYING CASE pending a decision by the United States Supreme Court in four consolidated cases (14-556, 14-562, 14-571, 14-574) by Chief Judge Ralph R. Erickson.(SH) (Entered: 01/20/2015)"

Lawsuits - Resolved

None.

Ballot Initiatives - Pending

None.

Ballot Initiatives - Passed

North Dakota Constitutional Amendment 1

Purpose of Ballot Measure: Made it unconstitutional for the state to recognize or perform same-sex marriages or civil unions. It was approved by 73% of voters.

Date Passed: 2 November 2004

Polls

  • In April 2013 the Williams Institute released a poll showing 40% of residents supported marriage equality. Poll Details