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Rental discrimination ban approved in Grand Forks

City of Grand Forks
City of Grand Forks

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) -- The Grand Forks City Council has banned housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Council members say Grand Forks is the first city in North Dakota to approve such a law.   It passed Monday on a 5-2 vote after nearly two hours of testimony and discussion.

Supporters say the ordinance provides protection for people of every sexual orientation. Opponents see it as a violation of property rights and religious beliefs.

Violators of the ordinance are subject to a $500 fine. The ordinance does have some exemptions, including churches and religious housing.