North Dakotans voted overwhelmingly – 64% to 36% – against Measure 3 the so-called “religious liberties” state Constitutional amendment that could have been a huge blow to women’s rights.
The measure would have amended the North Dakotan Constitution to allow a person or institution to carry out any action or practice solely based on his/her religious beliefs.
Measure 3 would have threatened laws against sex discrimination, domestic violence, child abuse and more. The amendment could have provided a defense to wife beaters and child abusers – who would have been able to claim their religious beliefs allow them to use violence against family members. It could have also opened the door, based on religious beliefs, to sex discrimination and the denial of birth control and other fundamental services and protections. Undoubtedly, it would have led to many court cases.
Feminist Majority Foundations National Campus Organizers Laura Kacere and Sarah Shanks, along with on the ground student organizers in North Dakota did an amazing job organizing the Students Vote No On Measure 3 campaign to mobilize young people in North Dakota to turn out to vote NO on Measure 3.
Although this was the first vote on the many religious liberty ballot initiatives that have popped up across the country, the defeat of Measure 3 signifies that there is not public support for such initiatives.
Thank you for standing with us in North Dakota. We couldn’t have done it without you!