The governor of North Dakota issued a stunning rebuke to his own party over an anti-LGBTQ resolution passed earlier this year, calling it “hurtful and divisive.”
On Thursday, Gov. Doug Burgum, a Republican, said that he took offense at a resolution passed by hundreds of state GOP delegates in April by mail-in ballot.
The resolution read in part that “LGBT practices are unhealthy and dangerous, sometimes endangering or shortening life and sometimes infecting society at large.”
In a powerful statement released Thursday, Burgum said that such discriminatory language had no place in his state’s politics.
“As I’ve long said, all North Dakotans deserve to be treated equally and live free of discrimination. There’s no place for the hurtful and divisive rhetoric in the NDGOP resolutions,” the governor said.
“We can respect one another’s freedoms without disrespecting or discriminating against the LGBT members of our state and our party, whom we support,” he added.
The assertive criticism came a day after the state GOP’s executive director, Corby Kemmer, issued an apology for the resolution’s language.
On Wednesday, local newspaper The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead reported that Kemmer released a statement saying that his party only meant to strengthen so-called religious freedoms.
“The intent of the delegates was to stand up for individual and religious liberties, and, unfortunately, this language falls woefully short of that goal,” he said.
“We regret any offense this may have caused, and we will be reconsidering this resolution at a future meeting to bring it more in line with what delegates were attempting to communicate,” Kemmer added.
According to The Associated Press, the controversial resolution was part of a package of dozens of party policy statements.
The package was approved 621-139 in the mail-in vote, after the party’s convention was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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