Media Contact

Janna Farley,

April 20, 2023

Ignoring the warnings of families, advocates, health care providers and transgender North Dakotans themselves, Gov. Doug Burgum today signed into law a bill banning gender-affirming health care for transgender youth.

The ACLU of North Dakota opposed House Bill 1254. The bill represents vast government overreach that undermines the fundamental rights of parents, and by singling out gender-affirming care for categorical prohibition violates the constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process.

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

“By signing this bill into law, Gov. Burgum has put the government in charge of making vital decisions traditionally reserved for parents in North Dakota. This ban won’t stop North Dakotans from being trans, but it will deny them critical support that helps struggling transgender youth grow up to become thriving transgender adults.

“Gov. Burgum and supporters of House Bill 1254 have chosen fearmongering, misrepresentations, intimidation and extremist politics over the rights of families and the lives of transgender youth in North Dakota. But this fight is far from over — we are determined to build a future where North Dakota is a safe place to raise every child. As our politicians continue to fail trans youth, it is up to each and every one of us to rise against their fear and ignorance and surround these young people with strength, safety and love.”

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.