Proposed state legislation to also require correct use of pronouns
A legislative effort in North Dakota aimed at prohibiting schools from providing separate accommodations for trans-identified students is raising eyebrows over a subsection of the bill that suggests the same limits for students who identify as any species “other than human.”
Introduced Tuesday in the North Dakota Assembly, House Bill 1522 is sponsored by six Republican state lawmakers as an “emergency measure” to prohibit any public or private schools from adopting a policy that “caters to a student’s perceived or expressed gender, including a preferred gender pronoun, if the perceived or expressed gender is inconsistent with the student’s sex.”
In addition to requiring students to use correct pronouns based on their sex instead of chosen pronouns that can change daily based on their self-identification, the two-page bill would prohibit schools from providing students with any facility, such as restrooms, school program, or other accommodation, including pronouns, if the “perceived or expressed gender” does not correlate with their biological sex.
If passed, HB 1522 would only allow a school district, a public or private school, or a teacher in a public or private school to establish or provide a unisex restroom accommodation for a student if the student had a sex change operation before the bill takes effect and the student’s parent or legal guardian provide written consent to for the special accommodation.
But it’s item “2(c)” on the draft bill that is getting attention from some: it prohibits any “policy establishing or providing a place, facility, school program, or accommodation that caters to a student’s perception of being any animal species other than human.”
One of the North Dakota lawmakers behind HB 1522 said there are, in fact, students in her state “who don’t identify as human.”
“Yes, we have people who would like to claim themselves as animals such as cats and dogs,” state Rep. Lori VanWinkle was quoted as saying.
In an email Wednesday, VanWinkle told The Christian Post the bill is not only good for North Dakota, but for the nation in general.
“The bill’s intent really was more to protect sex as male and female and to include the crazy idea that some think they can identify as animals,” VanWinkle told CP via email. “That is not the role of an education system to provide accommodation for delusional thinking.”
A piece published by NBC News’ LGBT division NBC Out claimed that the bill’s language about students identifying as animal species purportedly stemmed from an “urban myth about litter boxes in U.S. schools that spread among conservative Republicans ahead of the November election.”
Before acknowledging that HB 1522 does not reference “litter boxes,” NBC Out linked to a separate NBC article from October that pointed to a purported “wave of misinformation [that] reflects discontent among many conservatives around how the concepts and politics of gender identity are rapidly shifting.”
Listen to CP’s podcast Generation Indoctrination: Inside the Transgender Battle
NBC also sought to debunk the alleged use of litter boxes at schools to the fast-growing “furries” subculture of both teens and adults who roleplay as their favorite animal characters.
“Three school-age furries told NBC News they have at times dressed up at school, typically wearing just part of their full costume such as a mask or gloves that look like paws, but they’d never heard of any furry ever asking for a litter box,” NBC reported.
While HB 1522 does not mention litter boxes, one of the bill’s sponsors, Rep. Scott Dyk, confirmed with CP that North Dakota does have an issue “with students identifying as any animal species other than human,” but would not provide further details.
“Yes, there is [an issue]. Confirmable,” Dyk told CP via email.
HB 1522 is in the Assembly’s Human Services Committee. It’s unclear whether the bill will advance to a full vote in the Legislature.
Ian M. Giatti is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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