Feb 23, 2011
The Montana House overwhelmingly passed a bill that would strip discrimination protects from Gays and Lesbians in the state and bar city governments from offering those protections in the future. HB 516, authored by christian representative Kristin Hansen, easily passed 60-39. It prohibits Gays and Lesbians from seeking protections from their local governments and elected officials.
Hansen said HB 516 would prohibit local governments from enacting ordinances or policies that seek to protect residents from real or perceived discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender as Missoula did through an ordinance and Bozeman through a policy.
Bennett, however, told how Missoula’s enactment of the ordinance gave LGBT residents of Missoula hope that is now being dashed.
“It gave those young (LGBT) people who had been beaten up, yelled at and discriminated against day in and day out the dimmest light of hope that maybe someday they might be equal to other Montanans, maybe someday,” he said. “But this bill looks to extinguish that dim light of hope and eliminate an existing right for LGBT Missoulians.”
This law is nearly identical to Colorado’s Amendment 2 which was passed in 1992 after intense lobbying from Focus on the Family and other christian groups in the state. It was ruled unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court in 1996 in the landmark Romer v. Evans decision. The justices ruled that the majority cannot deny equal protections and access to the minority based on nothing more than a dislike of the minority.
HB 516 will of course be ruled unconstitutional but not before many Gays and Lesbians are forced out of their jobs and homes. Laws that purposely discrimination against the Gays and Lesbians encourage violence against our community.
If you are a Gay or Lesbian living in Montana buy and gun and understand your legal rights to defend yourself with lethal force. In Montana “the lawful use of firearms for self-defense is not a crime or an offense against the people of the state”. You also have the right to openly carry a weapon. Check out the appropriate statutes here.