News

The Municipal Civil Rights Movement

by HPR Contributor | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | October 17th, 2013

Local leaders move to provide protections in the absence of State action

By Sean Coffman

As part of the 63rd Legislative Assembly of North Dakota, Senate Bill 2252 was submitted to augment civil liberty protections. In February of 2013, the bill failed to pass the Senate by a 21-26 vote. Had it passed as originally drafted, SB2252 would have amended the state policy against discrimination to include sexual orientation.

“SB 2252 would have provided lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender…

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MN = Love

by Bryce Haugen | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | August 8th, 2013

Train’s “Marry Me” provided an appropriate soundtrack as the clock ticked toward midnight on August 1 and dozens quietly trickled into a Clay County courtroom.

A sheriff’s deputy on duty said he’d never heard music in the courtroom before. But for a night of firsts that was a trivial aside. Shortly after midnight, 18 gay and lesbian couples became some of the first to exchange vows under Minnesota’s new law that made it the latest of 13 states to allow same-sex…

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Gabby Giffords calls for common sense gun legislation at Fargo’s Atomic Coffee

by Bryce Haugen | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | July 11th, 2013

A former congresswoman who has turned tragedy into activism dropped by Fargo last Wednesday with her astronaut husband to promote “common-sense steps” to curb gun violence.

About a hundred people gathered in downtown Fargo’s Atomic Coffee to hear from Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head more than two years ago at a meet-and-greet in Tucson, Ariz., and her husband Mark Kelly, who flew on four space shuttle missions. The short visit was one leg of a weeklong “Rights and…

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Minnesota becomes the 12th state to recognize same-sex marriage

by Bryce Haugen | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | May 16th, 2013

Mark Dayton

ST. PAUL -- Hours before one of the most important votes he will ever cast, Rep. Ben Lien pointed out a statue of former vice president Hubert H. Humphrey as he walked to his office through the light rain falling on the capital city Thursday morning.

For Lien, DFL-Moorhead, and other legislators, legalizing same-sex marriage in Minnesota was a natural extension of the state’s pioneering civil rights tradition. At about 3 p.m., the House passed the bill 75-59. The Senate followed suit…

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​Simmering feud

by Bryce Haugen | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | December 13th, 2012

This time last year, Moorhead’s Main Avenue corridor was a regional mecca for those seeking glass pipes, one-hitters, bongs, grinders and other smoking fare. Now two prominent storefronts at the doorstep of the city sit empty, a visible sign of the drug paraphernalia ban the city council passed just over one year ago.

Only one of five stores has weathered the pipe ban with relative ease. Mother’s Music found a niche selling traditional tobacco pipes, which were exempt from the…

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​Petition Dies, Business Owner Moves On

by Bryce Haugen | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | March 29th, 2012

The petition is dead, but Moorhead’s nine-month saga over what police and prosecutors deem drug paraphernalia is not over yet.

At its Feb.13 meeting, the city council rejected a petition with nearly 3,000 signatures that would have forced leaders to repeal the divisive ordinance or send the question to voters in the 2013 city election. After a review process threw out about 1,800 names for a variety of reasons – most for not being registered voters – petitioners had 30 days to file…

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​When Freedom Turns Its Back

by Bryce Haugen | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | April 1st, 2010

The Cass 23: Liberty and Justice For All

They couldn’t stay here legally. They couldn’t go back safely. Mercilessly exploited, profoundly ashamed and maddeningly frustrated, they waited, waited and waited some more.

The promise of permanent residency for their families in America and high pay seemed like a perfect opportunity for hundreds of skilled workers from northern India, many of whom had spent years working alone abroad. They obtained loans, sold ancestral farmland and jewelry…

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