Media Contact

Janna Farley,

April 26, 2023

Today, Gov. Doug Burgum signed into law House Bill 1473, legislation that would prohibit transgender people from using communal facilities – restrooms and locker/shower rooms at schools and other state facilities – that match their gender identity.

The ACLU of North Dakota opposed House Bill 1473. By singling out transgender people like this, House Bill 1473 violates federal and constitutional law.

The following statement can be attributed to Cody Schuler, ACLU of North Dakota advocacy manager:

“We’ve heard a lot from lawmakers about their concerns for people's privacy and safety, particularly when it comes to House Bill 1473. But let's get real. No matter how these lawmakers try to spin it, this bill wasn’t motivated by privacy or safety concerns. It was motivated by ignorance, misinformation and a fear of transgender North Dakotans.

“Transgender people, whether people know it or not, are already using the restrooms and communal facilities they have a right to, and doing so without incident. It doesn’t infringe on anyone rights to share spaces with those who are different.

“By signing House Bill 1473, Gov. Burgum is forcing transgender people to make the impossible decision of breaking the law or revealing their private medical information – not to mention the obvious risk of harassment and violence that comes with forcing transgender people into the facilitates that do not match their gender identity. It is quite clear whose privacy and very lives are really at risk now that House Bill 1473 is law.”

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.