Nearly two months ago, proponents of protecting girls’ sports in North Dakota achieved victory when House Bill 1298 passed by a wide margin of 65-26. That came after stellar arguments from Rep. Ben Koppelman (R – District 16) — who is also primary sponsor of the bill — and Assistant Majority Leader Scott Louser (R – District 5).
In its original form, HB 1298 would prohibit the state, political subdivisions, and entities receiving public funding from allowing transgender participation in team sports that are “exclusively male or exclusively female”. While the prohibition would have applied to those who are under the age of 18 or are enrolled in high school, the point of the legislation was to protect girls from having to compete against transgender females (i.e. biological males).
It was expected that the legislation would have a much more difficult road in the Senate. While HB 1298 passed the House largely along party lines, there were some very liberal Republicans that opposed the bill. And like them, the Senate far too often leans less conservative. In other words, the Senate’s not always as Republican as they should be either.
When HB 1298 hit the floor for debate last week, it became much clearer who was leading the charge to defeat it. Senator Kristin Roers (R – District 27) not only stood in opposition to it, but she proposed a floor amendment to hoghouse the bill into a study— which the Senate then proceeded to pass. (NOTE: As worded, there’s no guarantee this issue would even be studied during the interim.)
It might interest you to know that Kristin Roers is a cousin to Rep. Shannon Roers Jones (R – District 46). Kristin’s uncle — and colleague in the Senate — is Senator Jim Roers (R – District 46). He is also Shannon’s father. Shannon Roers Jones was one of the liberal Republicans who voted against HB 1298 on the House side.
Two days after the Senate caved and adopted Senator Kristin Roers’ efforts to hoghouse the bill, Rep. Shannon Roers Jones appeared in a Zoom video on Facebook with her father to discuss a variety of issues. Among them was HB 1298. (NOTE: You can find their discussion at about the 32:00 minute mark.)
I encourage you to watch the video. When you put all of this together, you quickly begin to see who is leading the charge in the legislature to defeat Rep. Ben Koppelman’s efforts to protect girls’ sports in North Dakota.
It’s also worth noting how disingenuous Senator Kristin Roers’ efforts were to amend this into a study. Take a look at the vote tally on the bill’s final passage— which is after she got her wish to hoghouse it. You’ll notice that not only did she vote against final passage of her own amendment, but so did her uncle.
You see, Kristin and Jim Roers weren’t interested in further study of this issue. They simply wanted to defeat it altogether. Their own votes prove that. Yet, they’ll take neutering it into a study as the next best thing if they have to.
Because the bill was amended, it will now go back to the House. If that body fails to concur with the change, then they’ll have to appoint a conference committee to hammer out their differences with the Senate. In other words, there’s still time to ask your representatives to reject the Roers’ efforts to make this into an incredibly worthless study.
Contact your representatives now. And don’t ever forget who’s leading the charge against protecting girls’ sports in North Dakota.
(NOTE: According to today’s House Calendar, it appears the House Human Services Committee has done the right thing and has recommended a Do Not Concur on the amendment.)
PLEASE LIKE & SHARE
- North Dakota Bill Versions: HB 1298 (nd.gov)
- Louser & Koppelman Stellar as Bill Passes to Prohibit Transgenders in Girls’ Sports – The Minuteman Blog
- North Dakota Legislative Branch Video (nd.gov)
- Kristin Roers – Wikipedia
- View Floor Calendar: LegSS: Legislative Branch