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Bruce Anderson, Akeley, Minn., Published February 20 2013

Letter: ND legislators fail to lead on human rights

North Dakota’s legislators again showed their disdain for some of their constituents by defeating an effort to add protection for gay and lesbian residents to state law. By their actions – and the words of Sens. David Hogue, R-Minot, and Kelly Armstrong, R-Dickinson – they gave license to North Dakotans to discriminate against gays and lesbians in employment and housing. Moreover, they sent a clear message that gays and lesbians are second-class citizens.

Instead of showing leadership, they harken back to the days of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” in which people were encouraged to hide their identities.

Hogue says things “happen slowly,” as though people should have patience ... their rights will come someday. I wonder whether Hogue feels that way about his family’s rights? How many more kids will be bullied, how many lives negatively affected by the actions of these small-minded legislators?

Congratulations, Senators. You’ve provided gay and lesbian residents a great message: “Leave North Dakota. We really don’t consider you full citizens.”