Former Felons Celebration Thursday

From the Facebook event page:

mtgayflagSenate Bill 107 is on its way to the Governor’s desk for his signature and last week’s historic vote deserves a celebration!

SB107 finally removes the 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 remained on the state’s law books because of homophobia and fear. Last week it passed the Montana House on a 64-35 vote, after passing the Montana Senate 38-11.

The passage of SB107 is a “decades in the making” event that deserves some celebrating!

Come enjoy heavy hors d’oeuvres, music and fun sponsored by the Montana Human Rights Network, Planned Parenthood of Montana, ACLU of Montana, Pride Foundation, and generous personal donations from Senators Tom Facey, Christine Kaufmann, Pat and Carol Williams, Diane Sands, Jamee Greer and Linda Gryczan.

What: Former Felons Celebration
When: Thursday, April 18th at 5:30pm
Where: Jorgenson’s Ballroom, 1714 11th Ave. in Helena
Cost: Free, although donations accepted!

** Governor Steve Bullock will sign Senate Bill 107 earlier that day in a special signing event in the Montana Capitol Building Rotunda at 12:30pm.
All supporters are welcome to attend!

And yes-I’ll be at that signing. No way I’d miss it…..

Help Expand Medicaid in Montana!

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This session the Montana Legislature has an incredible opportunity to expand access to healthcare for 60,000 Montanans! Doing so would involve a minimal cost to the state, and have a major impact across our communities. Our legislators can do this by choosing to expand eligibility in the Medicaid program for individuals who live at or below 133% of the federal poverty level.  It will take a lot of effort on the ground across the state to pass this policy and we need your help!
We’re asking you to contact your Representative and Senator today and urge them to support Medicaid expansion! If we’re able to pass this expansion, it would be a huge victory for human rights in this state!
You can call and leave a message for your legislators at 406-444-4800 or you can fill out an online form by clicking here.  We’ve included some key facts and talking points at the end of this message.   Click here to find out who your legislators are.
We’re asking for your help because this is a once in a generation chance to expand an effective public healthcare program and get Montanans the care they need! But this policy won’t just help our neighbors who can’t afford health insurance. It will also have an incredible effect in our local and state economies. By expanding eligibility to our state Medicaid program, Montana will be investing in our workforce, creating new jobs, and giving a much needed boost to our economy. For more details on the economic impact of Medicaid expansion click here.
Expanding our Medicaid program is the right choice for Montana.  If we make that choice, 100% of the costs of expansion will be paid for through federal funding for the first 3 years. Beginning in 2017, Montana will pick up a small portion of the costs, paying no more than 10% from 2020 forward. This means that by investing a small amount of state dollars in our administrative capacity to expand the program, we can open access to healthcare for up to 60,000 Montanans.
We are so excited about this opportunity, and we’ll keep you updated as this policy discussion progresses.  For now, we hope you’ll write your legislators and let them know how important it is to support Medicaid expansion! 
Thank you for your continued support!
Sincerely,
Kim Abbott

Helena: To Discriminate or To Not Discriminate?

An attempt at a discrimination graphic.

An attempt at a discrimination graphic. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Did you know gay, lesbian, bi and transgender Montanans are not protected under state law in the workplace, or in buying and renting a home?

 

The City of Helena is moving forward with a non-discrimination ordinance that would protect LGBT people who live, work and visit within the city limits.
You can sign the petition with just a couple clicks!

 

Visit http://www.mhrn.org/helena/ today.

 

Bozeman Public Library Foundation Announces Reading of Dustin Lance Black’s Play “8”

The Library Foundation Joins Nationwide Productions of Landmark Marriage Equality Play by Academy Award-Winning Screenwriter of Milk & J. Edgar

The Bozeman Library Foundation with license from the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) and Broadway Impact, is proud to announce a one-night-only reading of “8,” a play chronicling the historic trial in the federal constitutional challenge to California’s Proposition 8, written by Academy Award-winning screenwriter and AFER Founding Board Member Dustin Lance Black.

“8” is an unprecedented account of the Federal District Court trial in Perry v. Schwarzenegger (now Perry v. Brown), the case filed by AFER to overturn Proposition 8, which stripped gay and lesbian Californians of the fundamental freedom to marry.

Black, who penned the Academy Award-winning feature film Milk and the film J. Edgar, based “8” on the actual words of the trial transcripts, first-hand observations of the courtroom drama and interviews with the plaintiffs and their families.

The Bozeman production is brought to the community thanks to author, director, and curator Gregory Hinton and his OUTWest programming. The Bozeman Library Foundation hosts the evening performance, starting with a reception from 6:30pm, the reading at 7:30pm in the Library’s mezzanine, followed by an informal discussion. Tickets are free and open to the public, but must be reserved in advance, as space is limited. Please call 582-2425 to secure your seat.

Hinton also was responsible for the “Beyond Brokeback: A Staged Reading with Music,” which premiered in Montana at the Bozeman Library in October 2011.

“The Bozeman Library is proud to be a partner on these two significant pieces of work,” said Paula K. Beswick, foundation director for the Library Foundation. “A public library’s role is to provide equal and open access to information to help inform, educate, and enlighten. It does this not only through its materials, but also through meaningful programs, such as ‘8’.”

This is truly a community program with local celebrity readers from all walks of life (see below) and support from the Pride Foundation, AIDS Outreach, MT Human Rights Network, and Nova Café. The Bozeman Public Library is in good company with the previous premieres from coast to coast.

“8” had its much-heralded Broadway world premiere on September 19, 2011, at the sold-out Eugene O’Neill Theatre in New York City. The production brought in over $1 million to support AFER’s efforts to achieve full federal marriage equality.

“8” had its West Coast premiere reading at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre on Saturday, March 3, 2012, in Los Angeles. The West Coast premiere reading of “8” featured an all-star cast led by Golden Globe Award-winner and Academy and Emmy Award-nominee Brad Pitt as United States District Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker; and Academy and Golden Globe Award-winner and Emmy Award-nominee George Clooney and Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winner Martin Sheen as Plaintiffs’ lead co-counsel David Boies and Theodore B. Olson.  The benefit reading was directed by AFER Founding Board Member Rob Reiner, and raised more than $2 million for the fight to secure full federal marriage equality.

“People need to witness what happened in the Proposition 8 trial, if for no other reason than to see inequality and discrimination unequivocally rejected in a court of law where truth and facts matter,” said AFER Founding Board Member Dustin Lance Black. “The goal of ‘8’ is to show the world that marriage equality is a basic constitutional right. The facts are on our side and truth always finds the light. AFER and Broadway Impact are doing all we can to help speed that process along.”

Throughout 2012, AFER and Broadway Impact are licensing “8” for free to colleges and community theatres nationwide in order to spur action, dialogue, and understanding. Hinton shares a common goal with his OUTWest programs, but his focus is on museums, universities, and public libraries.

For more information about the performance at the Bozeman Public Library, please call Paula Beswick at 582-2426 or director@bozemanlibraryfoundation.org. To learn more about “8” visit: www.8theplay.com or find it on Facebook.

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“8” Bozeman Public Library CAST LIST

Clerk                                                                 Susan Gregory, director, Bozeman Public Library
Broadcast Journalist                                        E.J. Porth, active community member
Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker                     Jack Kligerman, retired English Professor
Theodore B. Olson (Plaintiffs’ attorney)     Sherman Hall, community actor
David Boies (Plaintiffs’ attorney)                  Alan Kesselheim, author

Charles J. Cooper (Proponents’ attorney)   George Cole, retired Yellowstone Public Radio

Jeff Zarrillo (Plaintiff)                                     Jamee Greer, community member & activist
Paul Katami (Plaintiff)                                    Greg Smith, director, AIDS Outreach
Sandy Stier (Plaintiff)                                       Laura Prindiville, active community member
Kris Perry (Plaintiff)                                         Denise Malloy, author
Elliott (Kris & Sandy’s son)                            TBA
Spencer (Kris & Sandy’s son)                         TBA
Dr. Nancy Cott (Plaintiffs’ witness)              Cindy Christin, children’s librarian

Maggie Gallagher (Marriage equality opponent)   Beth Boyson, reference librarian
Dr. Ilan Meyer (Plaintiffs’ witness)                 Jim Madden, active community member
Ryan Kendall (Plaintiffs’ witness)                   Riley Pittenger, active community member
Dr. Gregory Herek (Plaintiffs’ witness)          Andy Allen, active community member
Dr. Gary Segura (Plaintiffs’ witness)               Jan Krieger, middle school teacher
Dr. William Tam (Prop. 8 proponent)            Scott Blackwell, librarian
David Blankenhorn (Proponents’ witness)    Geoff Stephens, active community member
Evan Wolfson (Marriage equality advocate)  Tom Zuzulock, high school teacher

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ABOUT THE AMERICAN FOUNDATION FOR EQUAL RIGHTS

The American Foundation for Equal Rights is the sole sponsor of Perry v. Brown, the federal constitutional challenge to California’s Proposition 8. After bringing together Theodore B. Olson and David Boies to lead its legal team, AFER successfully advanced the Perry case through Federal District Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Foundation is committed to achieving full federal marriage equality for all Americans.
www.AFER.org

ABOUT BROADWAY IMPACT
Broadway Impact is the only grassroots organization of the theatre community and its fans mobilized in support of marriage equality. Tony Award-nominees Rory O’Malley (The Book of Mormon) and Gavin Creel (HAIR) and Production Coordinator Jenny Kanelos founded the organization in direct response to the passage of California’s Proposition 8 in November 2008. Currently, Broadway Impact, in partnership with AFER, licenses and coordinates readings of Dustin Lance Black’s “8” at regional, community and university theaters around the world. Broadway Impact was the recipient of the 2009 Human Rights Campaign Community Award and proudly operates under the fiscal sponsorship of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

 www.broadwayimpact.com

 

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Proposition 8 Key Dates:

Date                                                    Event
November 4, 2008                          Prop. 8 Passes
May 26, 2009                                  AFER Attorneys Announced: Theodore B. Olson and David Boies

January 11-27, 2010                     Perry v. Schwarzenegger District Court Trial
June 16, 2010                                  Closing Arguments
August 4, 2010                                District Court Rules Prop. 8 Unconstitutional
December 6, 2010                          9th Circuit Oral Arguments re: Appeal by Prop. 8 Proponents

June 14, 2011                                 Proponents’ Motion to Vacate Judgment Denied
September 6, 2011                         California Supreme Court Oral Arguments on Proponents’ Standing

September 19, 2011                       Broadway Premiere of “8”

September 19, 2011                       District Court Orders Release of Trial Video

November 17, 2011                        California Supreme Court Advisory Opinion re: Proponents’ Standing

December 8, 2011                           9th Circuit Hearing re: Release of Trial Videotapes and Proponents’ Motion to Vacate Judgment

February 7, 2012                             9th Circuit Affirms District Court Ruling That Prop. 8 is Unconstitutional

March 3, 2012                                 Los Angeles Premiere of “8”

Playing “Chicken” In Billings

Jessica Mayrer wrote an article in today’s Missoula Independent about last week’s chicken stand-off in Billings. Money quote:‎

We have got to ratchet back emotion,” Laszloffy says.

Montana Human Rights Network gay rights activist Jamee Greer agrees that violence is never appropriate. However, he finds it ironic that Laszloffy, a man who has consistently branded gays as perverts, sinners and criminals, now wants to tone down the rhetoric. “He’s made his living off of demonizing, scapegoating and harassing LGBT community members,” Greer says. (emphasis mine)

Laszloffy has repeatedly ratcheted up the rhetoric at strategic points along his career- including making veiled threats to one Jamee Greer. See a few of them here.

Now he wants to ratchet back emotion? After stoking the fires of emotion against fellow citizens for years? Now he’s nervous?

Asshat.

Oh, and if anybody knows the identity of the ‘local caterer’ that provided the hate nuggets- I’d love to know, too. And probably so would a lot of people. I’m surprised it wasn’t pursued in the article.

That kind of masked stuff is so 1870’s….

Helena Screening Tonight!

Don’t forget- tonight Inlaws and Outlaws will be screened at Plymouth Congregational Church at 7pm! Filmmaker Drew Emery will be introducing the film and staying around after for a Q&A. Copies of the film will also be available for purchase.

What do you get when you fall in love?

Inlaws & Outlaws cleverly weaves together the true stories of couples and singles— both gay and straight — and all into a collective narrative that is as hilarious as it is heartbreaking.

At the top of the film, you meet real people one on one. You don’t know who’s gay or straight or who’s with whom. As their stories unfold and stereotypes fall by the wayside, you won’t care because you’ll be rooting for everybody. With candor, good humor, great music and real heart, Inlaws & Outlaws gets past all the rhetoric to embrace what we have in common:

We love.

Inlaws And Outlaws Heads To Montana!

This month, Inlaws & Outlaws heads to Big Sky Country, with three community screenings in Montana!

Salish Kootenai College’s Spirit of Many Colors Gay-Straight Alliance is holding their first annual PRIDE Week and the film kicks it off with a free community screening on Monday, May 14 at 2 pm in the college library.

Later in the month, Montana Pride 2012 and the Montana Human Rights Network team up to present two screenings of the film with a special appearance by filmmaker Drew Emery at each.

On Wednesday, May 23, the film will screen at Plymouth Congregational Church in Helena. On Friday, May 25, the film screens at the Bozeman Public Library. Both screenings are free and open to the general public and a Q&A and discussion with the filmmaker will follow.

The screenings happen as the battle for LGBT rights in the state heats up, including the upcoming vote on Helena’s Non-Discrimination Ordinance. If the city passes the law, it will be the second city in Montana to offer civil rights protections for LGBT Montanans. Missoula became the first in 2010.

D Gregory Smith of Montana Pride shared his excitement over the film’s timeliness. “A basic understanding of the humanity of LGBT relationships is often what’s missing from our discussion of LGBT rights. This film helps remedy that. No one will walk away wondering about differences – the shared humanity is obvious, and celebrated.”

Montana Outlaws Tour
Mon, May 14
2 pm
Salish Kootenai College
Pablo, MT
Wed, May 23
7 pm
Montana Human Rights Network
and Montana Pride 2012

Pilgrim Congregational Church, Helena, MT
Fri, May 25
7 pm
Montana Human Rights Network
and Montana Pride 2012

Bozeman Public Library, Bozeman, MT
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