According to Public Religion Research institute, as of 2018, 72% of North Dakotans favored laws that would protect gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals against discrimination in jobs, public accommodations and housing, a percentage higher than even the national average. Additionally, there is strong support from the business community as well, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The Equality Act currently passing through Congress would encode these protections by amending existing civil rights law to include sexual orientation and gender identity. As a nation, we already protect people on the basis of race, color, national origin and in most cases, sex, disability and religion. Why should civil rights for LGBTQ+ people be any different?

At the core of this law is the basic tenant that we all should have the freedom to live out our American dream no matter if we’re gay, straight, transgender or cisgender. I urge my fellow North Dakotans to tell our senators to support this legislation.

Myself and other LGBTQ+ people are not asking for special treatment, just our civil rights.

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