As the Fargo-Moorhead area celebrates the culture and diversity of the LGBTQ+ and Two Spirit community during Pride events this week, there’s sure to be music, dancing and plenty of cheery rainbow flags.
But Pride is more than just a festival and fun.
This year, we’ve seen an aggressive assault on LGBTQ+ and Two Spirit people across the country. Nearly 500 anti-trans and anti-LGBTQ bills were proposed in state legislatures in 2023 alone. Here in North Dakota, lawmakers passed a slate of far-reaching, discriminatory bills that were signed into law by Gov. Burgum. These new laws – which include everything from prohibiting trans people from obtaining birth certificates that accurately reflect their identity to allowing the government to intrude on private medical decisions – represent a coordinated, hate-driven campaign to push transgender people out of public life.
Given these challenges, Pride is also a time for people to recommit themselves to the long struggle for equality. The ACLU works year round to protect and promote the rights of LGBTQ+ and Two Spirit people. Our goal is to ensure that everyone can live openly without discrimination and enjoy equal rights, bodily autonomy and freedom of expression and association. We have a long history of defending the LGBTQ+ and Two Spirit community, with historic wins around marriage rights at the U.S. Supreme Court and in states around the country.
As you cover any of the Fargo-Moorhead Pride events this week, Cody Schuler, the ACLU of North Dakota’s advocacy manager, is available to comment. Schuler will also be on-site at Pride in the Park on Saturday. Please contact communications director Janna Farley at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an interview.
About the ACLU of North Dakota
The American Civil Liberties Union of North Dakota is a non-partisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of civil liberties and civil rights. The ACLU of North Dakota is part of a three-state chapter that also includes South Dakota and Wyoming. The team in North Dakota is supported by staff in those states.
The ACLU believes freedoms of press, speech, assembly and religion, and the rights to due process, equal protection and privacy, are fundamental to a free people. In addition, the ACLU seeks to advance constitutional protections for groups traditionally denied their rights, including people of color, women and LGBTQ+ and Two Spirit communities. The ACLU of North Dakota carries out its work through selective litigation, lobbying at the state and local level, and through public education and awareness of what the Bill of Rights means for the people of North Dakota.