From Yesterday’s Testimony:

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Full speech is here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7CsHmMwzrQ

Help Still Needed to Pass SB107

Because of YOUR HELP, we made history today!
But we still need YOUR HELP to pass Senate Bill 107!
 
Dear supporter of equality:
Senate Bill 107 has passed an important hurdle! For the first time in our state’s history, a bill to repeal unconstitutional language from Montana’s code that labels gays and lesbians felons has received majority support from both chambers in the Montana Legislature.
This is big news, and reason to celebrate! But there’s still more work to be done.
SB 107 survived today’s “blast motion” carried by Rep. Bryce Bennett and will be heard during second reading on the floor of the Montana House TOMORROW: Tuesday, April 9th!
 
We need you to take a moment and contact your Representative immediately and ask them to support SB 107! Click here to email representatives in your area, or call 406-444-4800 to leave messages for up to five representatives in your area!
This bill would finally remove unconstitutional language from Montana law that labels gays and lesbians felons, punishable by fines of up to $50,000 and/or up to ten years in jail. It was ruled unconstitutional by the Montana Supreme Court in 1997, but remains on the state’s law books because of homophobia and fear.
 
We know that there are reasonable members of both parties on the floor of the Montana House who believe language criminalizing gay and lesbian relationships is wrong! Click here to see how your representative voted on today’s “blast motion” for SB 107!
 
We need you to take a moment and contact your Representative immediately and ask them to support SB 107! Click here to email representatives in your area, or call 406-444-4800 to leave messages for up to five representatives in your area!
 
Call the Capitol Switchboard at (406) 444-4800 to leave a message for up to five legislators in your area at a time.
Thank you for your continued support for equality.

Montana Legislature: Taking Its Sweet Time Removing Archaic Hate Language

Last week, I wrote about the inability of the Montana legislature to simply remove outdated hate language from the books:

montanawelcomeThe Montana Senate can’t even take an up-or-down vote on whether or not the law should say gays and lesbians deserve ten years in prison and/or $50,000 fines – simply for being gays and lesbians.

Word is they’re sending the bill back to committee to attach bad amendments to it requested by a Bitterroot-based anti-gay activist, Dallas Erickson. This motion would happen during the Senate floor session, possibly as soon as Wednesday (today).

Why back to committee? If it comes up quietly during an executive action, which can happen at pretty much any time, maybe there won’t be network television news cameras in front of them. Maybe the Associated Press and USAToday will miss it.

Maybe, just maybe, some members of the legislature can get away with labeling gay and lesbian Montanans as “deviates” and “felons” for another year and avoid the national embarrassment that will surely come with such an unfortunate decision.

Yeah, well…. They sent it back to committee on Friday.

Stay tuned.