North Dakota Republican leaders are speaking out — after the fact — against a horrific anti-LGBT resolution that’s now part of the party’s 2020 platform.
The resolution opposes nondiscrimination laws that include sexual orientation and gender identity, or “SOGI bills.” While it is mostly devoted to perpetuating the anti-transgender bathroom predator myth, the resolution also accuses LGBT people of “recruiting” minors and “infecting” society with disease.
“SOGI laws empower those practicing LGBT behaviors to assume positions of mentorships of minors often over objections of parents, influencing their emotions and thereby recruiting for their lifestyles,” the resolution states. “Many LGBT practices are unhealthy and dangerous, sometimes endangering or shortening life and sometimes infecting society at large.”
Corby Kemmer, the executive director of the North Dakota GOP, apologized for the resolution, which was one of 53 packaged together that received an up-or-down vote by delegates on mail-in ballots, after the party scrapped its in-person convention due to the COVID-19 crisis.
“The intent of the delegates was to stand up for individual and religious liberties, and, unfortunately, this language falls woefully short of that goal,” Kemmer said, according to the Dickinson Press. “We regret any offense this may have caused, and we will be reconsidering this resolution at a future meeting to bring it more in line with what delegates were attempting to communicate.”
Republican Gov. Doug Burgum took to Facebook to denounce the resolution.
“As I’ve long said, all North Dakotans deserve to be treated equally and live free of discrimination. There’s no place for the hurtful and divisive rhetoric in the NDGOP resolutions,” Burgum wrote. “We can respect one another’s freedoms without disrespecting or discriminating against the LGBT members of our state and our party, whom we support.”
House Minority Leader Josh Boschee, an openly gay Democrat, told the Dickinson Press: “Statements like this by the majority party don’t help when it comes to workforce recruitment or retaining the students we educate for 12-16 years. We see a lot of people leave the state because of bigotry like that. … I thought the Republican Party had come further along than that. This party has a lot of work to do if they want to be a big tent party, regardless of how much power they have in elected office in North Dakota.”
More from Boschee and others via Twitter below.