Press From Yesterday

The Missoulian (of course) printed the most info on the HB 516 hearing yesterday:

A crowd of people, many of them from Missoula, showed up Monday to oppose a bill that would nullify the city’s 2010 ordinance that protects residents from discrimination based on their sexual orientation, gender and gender expression.

A smaller group of people, some of whom fought the Missoula ordinance last year, came to support House Bill 516 by Rep. Kristin Hansen, R-Havre, at a hearing before the Senate Local Government Committee.

It was a low-key hearing compared to the at-times boisterous House Judiciary Committee hearing last month.

Hansen’s bill would prohibit local governments from enacting ordinances or other policies like Missoula’s that cover, as a protected class from actual discrimination, any groups not now included in the Montana Human Rights Act.

She questioned the legality of the Missoula ordinance, saying it could take several years for such a challenge to get through courts here.

“My bill prevents that,” she said. “It declares that the state is preemptive in the field. I believe that state law does preempt in this area.”

I even got a mention:

Gregory Smith, who was a chaplain to the Legislature in 1993, said he is a therapist whose patients includes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

“I am a gay man and a native Montanan,” he said. “We want to live our lives happily and from fear in the state we grew up in.”

Smith said the bill ignores a suffering segment of Montana’s population and is “enshrining bigotry and discrimination.

Read the full story here.

One comment on “Press From Yesterday

  1. gg says:

    Are religious leaders pro or con? Do they say it prevents freedom of religious expression/practice? (i.e. bigotry/hate under the guise of religious belief) Do they remember that when the Puritans came to North America ‘ to be free from religious persecution’ they promptly chased out Baptists, Catholics, Jews and Quakers. Baptists went on to found Rhode Island where others took refuge. The Massacusetts Bay Puritans hung Mary Dyer, a Quaker and let us not forget Salem Witch Trials. This is not Disney stuff but real. Are the antis going to act like Iranian Mullahs and hang people they don’t approve ? Have Friday amputations and beheadings like Saudi Arabia? Oh, I forgot, that wouldn’t be too Christian. Or would it? Of course, Lord Baltimore et al founded Maryland as Roman Catholic colony with freedom of religious expression. That didn’t last too long and they soon became the minority with few rights.

    How soon we forget. Hopefully Montanans are more enlightened than Ms Bachmann of Minnesota. Seems she never had grade 6 history – budget cuts you know. “A mind is a terrible thing to waste”….indeed.



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