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Letter: Keep discrimination out of North Dakota

Janet Fisher, Denise Dykeman, Rev. Ellery Dykeman and Barb Solberg respond to Sens. Cramer's and Hoeven's votes against law to protect gay marriage.

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As people of faith, we are writing in response to the November 16, 2022 article “ North Dakota's Hoeven, Cramer vote against law to protect gay marriage rights ”:

In the article Sen. Hoeven stated, “My concern with this bill is that it doesn’t adequately protect religious freedom, that includes both individuals and businesses based on sincerely-held religious beliefs, as well as religious organizations.”

We learned strong core values through our Lutheran faith. Through tradition, sacred text, worship and community we learned to value love, welcome, inclusion and non- judgment. It is because of our faith that we know treating someone differently because of who they are and whom they love is wrong. Religious freedom is a fundamental part of America, which is why it is in the federal and state constitution. However, that freedom does not give businesses or corporations the ability to deny goods and services to someone because of who they are and whom they love.

We believe all Americans should treat one another as they would want to be treated. Faith is about loving our neighbors, not discriminating against them. We understand not everyone holds the same religious beliefs as we do, however, we do know North Dakota is about building strong communities. Discrimination has no place in North Dakota. Religious freedom is not being threatened. What is being threatened is strong communities and a strong economy.

It is because of our faith and love for all people that we want to keep discrimination out of North Dakota.

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Janet Fisher, Berthold, N.D., and Denise Dykeman, Rev. Ellery Dykeman and Barb Solberg, all Minot, N.D.

This letter does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.

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