- Associated Press - Friday, February 10, 2017

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The North Dakota House has rejected a measure that would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.

The bill was defeated 69-22 on Friday, the latest defeat for an idea that’s gone down three other times in recent years.

Fargo Democrat Josh Boschee is the state’s first openly gay legislator and is the main sponsor of the legislation. Boschee and others say that many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people fear they could lose their jobs or residences under current state law.

Opponents have argued it’s unnecessary and could force businesses and religious organizations to go against their own convictions.

Gov. Doug Burgum supported the bill. He says everyone deserves to be treated equally, and the state needs to think about competing with other states for workers.

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