What if one day, all of a sudden, your landlord comes to your door and decides to kick you and your partner out of your home based on nothing but your sexual orientation? Or, if you applied for housing, but the renter took one look at you and denied you the space?
I have lived in North Dakota my whole life and now, at the age of 21, I am starting to see how these housing laws could affect me. As an identifying lesbian, I am at the disposal of my landlord. If he finds out that i am gay and he doesn't agree with that, he can just kick me right out; no questions asked. Luckily it hasn't happened to me personally, but I know of plenty of cases in this state alone where it has.
I know by living here for this long that North Dakota is a very conservative state. I'm not trying to say that it is an awful place to live; the people are nice and neighborly and there is a real sense of community in our cities. However, growing up gay or coming out as gay has never been an easy feat for most people here. There can be a lot of homophobia and transphobia within the towns and it can be really difficult to find a group of people to accept who you are. Now we have to add to the list that we may not be able to get an appartment just because of our sexual orientation or gender identity. It's not right and it has to change immediately.
Fortunately, in 16 states (and the District of Columbia), that is now illegal to do. However, in North Dakota it is still very much legal for a person to discriminate another based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. With this petition, I hope to send a message to the Human Rights Division of North Dakota that it is NOT okay that this law doesn't include the LGBT community.
So far under this law, no renter can discriminate against anyone because of their race, color, religion, sex, disability, age, familial status, national origin, or status with respect to marriage or public assistance. Why is it that it doesn't cover anyone who identifies as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transexual, or anything in between? It doesn't seem right to have everyone else under the sun included in the Act except for the LGBT people. It's a matter of gay rights, and when it gets down to it, human rights and I don't want to have to fear losing my housing or not being able to get housing by identifying the way that I do.
It seems that with today's society and the way things have been progressing, that this issue should really be a non-issue, but unfortunately, the lawmakers don't see the wold the same way that I, and the rest of the queer community do. So please, help support the cause and hopefully we can see some changes in the North Dakota housing laws.