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Published February 15, 2013, 03:08 PM

Proposed Anti-Discrimination Bill Fails in Senate

A bill that would have given gay and lesbian North Dakota residents legal protection against discrimination by landlords and in the workplace has been defeated in the Senate.

A bill that would have given gay and lesbian North Dakota residents legal protection against discrimination by landlords and in the workplace has been defeated in the Senate.

Grand Forks was the only city in North Dakota to openly support a resolution which would have added sexual orientation to the North Dakota Human Rights Act. The same amendment was brought to the state capitol back in 2009 but was defeated in the House.

In a 21 to 26 vote, it died in the senate Thursday. Many call this a step back for the state and say the western part of the state hasn't caught up with the eastern side just yet. UND Student Body President Logan Fletcher says it's disappointing that North Dakota state leadership doesn't feel the same way as Grand Forks leaders. Fletcher, "Being openly gay on campus is something that I'm always at risk of so I understand those fears, I'm fortunate that I haven't yet."

Terry Bjerke was the only council member to disagree with passing this resolution in Grand Forks, saying that there isn't a widespread problem. City leaders say they'll work on adding sexual orientation to the list of banned discriminatory practices within city limits.

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