State lawmakers in North Dakota have passed a bill that would allow a range of government employees—including public school teachers—to ignore the preferred pronouns of transgender students or work colleagues.
The bill (pdf), which cleared the state Senate on Thursday on a 40–6 vote, now heads to Republican Gov. Doug Burgum’s desk for consideration. The measure passed with a veto-proof majority so, technically, it doesn’t need Burgum’s approval to become law.
The measure prohibits public school teachers from referring to transgender students by pronouns other than those reflecting their biological sex unless they have permission to do so from the student’s parents and a school administrator.
It also forbids government entities from forcing employees to refer to their colleagues by pronouns that are inconsistent with their biological sex.
Republican Rep. Karen Rohr, who backs the bill, said it includes language that Burgum has said, “he would have no objections to signing.”