The North Dakota Family Alliance last week praised the defeat of a bill to outlaw discrimination against gay people, describing it as a “bathroom bill.”
House Bill 1386, which you can read here, said nothing about bathrooms. It simply would have added “sexual orientation” to the list of classes which are legally protected against discrimination. Other protected classes include race, religion, sex and disability.
The North Dakota Family Alliance, a Christian advocacy group, posted on Feb. 10 a picture of an empty classroom chair with the words, “Schools in North Dakota are safer for girls, thanks to you! Together, we defeated HB 1386, the bathroom bill!”
Let us get this straight: girls are safer because gay people can legally be discriminated against in matters of housing, employment and public accommodations?
The organization later posted a kind of clarification: “Just a note. Regardless of whether HB 1386 specifically mentioned bathrooms, there was every indication that it would impact bathrooms, changing areas, locker rooms, etc. No young woman should have her privacy rights violated for the sake of someone else’s agenda.”
When lawmakers debated the bill at length on the House floor last week, there was plenty of opposition for a variety of reasons. But those reasons had nothing to do with bathrooms. In fact, the word “bathroom” was never uttered once. Because it wasn’t a bathroom bill.