Transgender children and adults in North Dakota will not be allowed access to bathrooms, locker rooms or showers that match the gender with which they identify, according to a new law covering some state facilities signed by Republican Gov. Doug Burgum.
Dormitories and other housing controlled by the state board of higher education would be affected, as would penitentiaries and juvenile and adult correctional facilities. The bathrooms and showers will be designated for the exclusive use of men or exclusively for women. Transgender or gender non-conforming individuals would need to get approval from a staff member to use the bathroom or shower of their choice.
Burgum’s office announced Wednesday that he signed the bill the day before. It had been approved by the state House and Senate with veto-proof majorities.
The American Civil Liberties Union has said that so far this year, more than 450 banknotes that attack the rights of transgender people have been introduced into state legislatures.
The governor’s office declined to comment on the bill on Wednesday.
Rep. Eric Murphy was one of three Republicans who defied his party and voted against the bill when it was in the House.
“I’m not trying to polarize. I just don’t think there’s a need for the legislation,” Murphy said in an interview with The Associated Press after the governor’s decision. The Grand Forks legislator is a professor at the University of North Dakota.
Last week, the Governor signed a bill that restricts transgender healthcare in the state, immediately making it a crime to provide gender-affirming care to people under the age of 18.
That measure also received veto-proof support from Republican lawmakers, though some Republicans voted against it, along with all Democrats.
Earlier this month, Burgum also signed a ban on transgender athletes into law after it was similarly passed by the House and Senate with veto-proof majorities. In 2021, Burgum vetoed a bill that would have imposed a ban on transgender athletes at the time, but House and Senate lawmakers did not have enough votes at the time to override his veto.