North Dakota governor signs bill regarding transgender student pronouns and bathroom use

Gov. Doug Burgum, (R-ND), signed a law Monday relating to guidelines for transgender students.

According to the bill, all students are required to use bathrooms that match their birth sex. Teachers are also required to inform a parent or guardian of their transgender student and not refer to them by their preferred pronouns.

Burgum told The Hill that the new law “largely codifies current practices” while affirming the First Amendment’s right to freedom of speech. He said that the legislation balanced “the rights and interests of parents, students, and teachers.”

Burgum would not have had to sign the bill that passed Monday because it was passed by a majority of lawmakers who were unable to veto it.

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The GOP-controlled state legislatures are examining how they handle transgender issues in their respective states.

Burgum vetoed in March a bill similar to this one with “concerning” language. The bill would have prevented North Dakota teachers from recognizing the “expressed gender” of students.

On April 7, the North Dakota Legislature sent eight bills directly to the Governor’s desk. Burgum signed the bills five days later. The bills prohibit biological men from playing women’s sports in kindergarten through college. Burgum vetoed in 2021 a bill that would have limited transgender athletes from participating in sports.

North Dakota is now the fourth state that has made providing gender-related treatments to transgender children a crime punishable with up to ten years in prison or $20,000 in fines. All Democrats and some Republicans voted against this bill.