When you think of North Dakota, you picture blue skies, open plains, and buffaloes. You also think of traditional values and conservatism. Indeed, since 1968 the state has voted only for Republican presidential candidates, and generally by substantial margins. (North Dakota in 2020 gave Donald Trump 68% of its vote.)
Yet despite the state’s traditional leanings, there is an extremely radical public institution in its midst: The University of North Dakota (UND) located in Grand Forks. The university, in blatant disregard of the views of the residents of North Dakota, has recently decided to take a radical stand on transgender issues by promulgating a draft policy on “Gender Inclusion” that is blatantly unconstitutional, will harm females, and will distort the English language.
First, the proposed policy of the University of North Dakota is unconstitutional. In the policy, the University of North Dakota wants to punish free speech by forcing students and employees to use the “preferred pronouns,” and recognize the “gender identity,” of a person even if neither aligns with that person’s biology. Indeed, to fail to do so could get you into serious trouble. The policy states:
Individual campus members and departments will use the names, gender identities, and pronouns specified to them by others, except as legally or administratively required. Individual campus members will use others’ gendered personal references, if any, that are consistent with the gender identities and pronouns specified by campus members. Intentionally misgendering an individual (addressing or referring to them with a name, pronoun, or in another manner that is inconsistent with their disclosed gender) may be considered a violation of UND’s Discrimination and Harassment policy.
Punishments for violating UND’s Discrimination and Harassment policy include being expelled, fired, and removed from university grounds.
Second, the proposed policy would also harm our daughters. It provides that the university would allow biological males identifying as females to compete on women’s sporting teams. It states that biological men identifying as females may use the locker rooms, rest rooms and other facilities reserved for women:
Students, employees, and visitors may access restrooms, locker rooms, and other facilities consistent with their gender identity and expression and are not required to use UND facilities inconsistent with their gender identity and expression or to use alternative facilities.
And most harmful of all to our daughters, the policy would allow biological males identifying as females to be housed with women:
Students are provided access to housing consistent with their gender identity and expression, as requested, and are not required to stay in single-occupancy accommodations. They are not required to disclose personal information to other students unless required by law or policy.
Finally, the proposed gender inclusion policy would distort the English language by mandating the use of “inclusive language” throughout the university:
UND expects the use of inclusive language and imagery, including gender-inclusive language and imagery, in UND signage, publications, policies, procedures, marketing materials and similar documents. All new signage, publications, policies, procedures, marketing materials and similar documents will use gender-inclusive language and imagery. Using gender-inclusive language and imagery means communicating in a way that does not discriminate against a particular sex, gender identity, or gender expression and does not perpetuate gender stereotypes. Gender-inclusive language and imagery does not make gender visible when it is not relevant for communication and does not assume a gender binary.
This requirement would produce crazy distortions in the English language because radical transgender ideologues have a warped definition of the word “inclusion.” For example, these ideologues claim that the word “women” is exclusionary as it fails to include biological females who identify as men but still retain their female anatomy. Thus, they argue, instead of using the word “women,” people should use the phrase “people who menstruate.” This absurdity is what drew feminist and Harry Potter author JK Rowling into the fight to defend womenhood. In June 2020, in response to an article entitled “Creating a more equal world for people who menstruate,” Rowland tweeted: “People who menstruate, I am sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?” The radical ideologues likewise prefer the phrase “people with penises” to the word “men” as “men” does not cover biological males who identify as female while retaining male anatomy. Reality is being turned on its head.
With its firm dedication to the truth, the Catholic Church has decided to courageously step into the fray by publicly registering opposition to this proposed radical policy of the University of North Dakota. In a letter written by Christopher Dodson, Executive Director and General Counsel of the North Dakota Catholic Conference (which represents the Dioceses of Fargo and Bismarck), the Catholic Conference stated:
We recognize that everyone should be treated with respect and that the university has a role in facilitating a respectful learning environment. However, this proposal goes beyond setting mere rules for administrative tasks. Indeed, it embraces and demands acceptance of a particular ideology about gender and language that infringes upon free speech and religious rights.
In particular, the Conference noted that the policy provided no exemptions to student groups outside of a limited one for fraternities and sororities:
We are particularly concerned about the proposal’s lack of any exemption for student organizations. Fraternities and sororities are provided a limited exemption, but not student organizations. This means that UND would require student organizations to use preferred pronouns, accept expressed genders, and reject binary understandings of gender even if doing so conflicted with their sincerely held religious beliefs.
As a result of these violations of the freedoms of speech and religion, the proposed policy violates the First Amendment of the Constitution:
Students and faculty do not lose their First Amendment rights when they enter the doors of a state university. This is well-established constitutional law. The proposed policy by UND amounts to unconstitutionally compelling speech and a particular viewpoint.
The letter concluded with a call for UND to reject the proposed policy:
[The mandates of the policy] compel the use of preferred pronouns, mandate acceptance of expressed genders, and suppress any view of gender other than the university’s. As such the proposal poses serious constitutional violations…We respectfully request that UND reject the proposed Gender Inclusion policy.
In addition to the Catholic Church, the Catholic New Agency reported that Grand Forks’ Mayor Brandon Bochenski likewise opposes the proposed policy. This policy “spits in the face of everything we believe in,” stated Bochenski in a Facebook post. “[It is] a sad day for my alma mater.”
The University of North Dakota is yet another public institution that wants to burn incense before the radical LGBT gods. Despite receiving most of its revenue from the conservative residents of North Dakota, the university wants to spit in their eyes by adopting a policy that compels speech, harms our girls and women, and distorts our English language. However, despite knowing the wrath that will be poured on them by the aggressive LGBT mob, the Catholic Church and the mayor of the town in which university is located have boldly protested this harmful policy. Let’s hope that other people in North Dakota will be encouraged to likewise speak up, knowing that the truth is on their side.