NORTH DAKOTA: Gov. Jack Dalrymple Orders State Agencies Not To Discriminate
North Dakota's Republican governor sent a memo to 17 government departments on Monday saying discrimination against anyone is unacceptable, just two hours before every Democrat in the Legislature delivered a letter calling on him to go further and issue an executive order prohibiting bias against gays and lesbians. Gov. Jack Dalrymple's chief of staff sent the letter to all agency directors appointed by the governor. "This administration expects all cabinet agencies to hire employees and to maintain agency staff based on ability and performance," Chief of Staff Ron Rauschenberger wrote. "Ours remains a policy of non-discrimination, including no discrimination based on sexual orientation." All 38 Democrats from the House and Senate delivered a letter to Dalrymple later in the day asking him to issue an executive order to require state agencies to ban discrimination in hiring and employment based on sexual orientation. Democrats are the minority in the Legislature, where Republicans hold two-thirds majorities.On Friday the North Dakota House rejected a bill that would have provided LGBT anti-discrimination protections in housing, employment, and public accommodations. The bill had been narrowly approved by the state Senate.