I wasn’t prepared for the press covering the GOP’s hijacking of the rights of Montanans to speak in favor of, or against, legislation- I thought it would just be added to the pile of neglected issues stocked in the backrooms of Montana newspapers.
I was wrong.
To quote Dirty Dancing (which is what I’m calling the GOP’s shenanigans): “When I’m wrong, I say I’m wrong” (which is more than they’ll ever do).
From Lee Newspapers:
Social conservatives supported a bill Friday to nullify Missoula’s ordinance that protects residents from discrimination because of their sexual orientation and gender, while human rights advocates lined up against it….Some Democrats also objected to a decision by committee chairman, Rep. Ken Peterson, R-Billings, to not allow people unable to testify because of time constraints to at least stand and say their names. However, they figured out a way around it by having more than 50 opponents stand as Rep. Diane Sands, D-Missoula, read their each of their names from the sign-up list.
From The Associated Press:
Gay rights advocates were pushing to expand discrimination protection statewide — while conservative religious groups were backing a bill that aims to repeal a Missoula ordinance extending discrimination protection in that city based on sexual orientation.
The contentious nature of the issue and very short hearings on the two bills frayed nerves, as many who drove from out of town to testify were told there wasn’t enough time due to the House committee’s workload.
Next, the blogosphere. The most comprehensive I’ve seen so far is from Towleroad– which also has excellent links, including one to the Montana Public Radio coverage:
Testimony at Montana’s legislature got ugly yesterday over a proposed bill that would kill Missoula’s anti-discrimination ordinance and prevent local municipalities in the state from enacting similar ordinances, instead forcing them to recognize state laws, which currently don’t recognize LGBTs.
Intelligent Discontent provides an excellent roundup of Montana Blog coverage of the issue- I’m proud to stand with these folks. I won’t repeat it- just go have a look.
…and I hope it just strengthens your resolve to stand firm in the face of this bullshit.