NORTH DAKOTA — Yesterday, the North Dakota Speaker of the House signed House Bill 1503 — legislation that would allow student groups at colleges, universities, and high schools to discriminate against LGBTQ students. The bill now heads to Gov. Doug Burgum’s desk for consideration.
Many public colleges and universities have long had “all-comers” policies that require student organizations receiving financial and other support from the institution not to discriminate against students based on race, sex, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity. These policies allow all members of the student body to participate in student organizations and prevent such organizations from discriminating against students with state funding. The Supreme Court upheld these all-comers policies as constitutional in the Christian Legal Society v. Martinez decision in 2010.
North Dakota HB 1503, in part, undermines inclusive “all-comers” policies at North Dakota public colleges and universities, by allowing student organizations to discriminate against LGBTQ students under the guise of free speech.
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