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Montana House committee advances bill to prevent LGBT protections

Monday, February 21, 2011

Updated: 2/22/11, See below.

HELENA, Mont. — The Montana State House Judiciary Committee on Monday approved a bill that would prohibit local municipalities from enacting ordinances that include, as a protected class from discrimination, any groups not included under the Montana Human Rights Act.

The measure, House Bill 516, would effectively nullify the city of Missoula’s 2010 ordinance that protects its LGBT citizens from employment, housing and other forms of discrimination because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

The 2009 Montana Human Rights Act does not include protections based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

“After decades of the state failing to protect LGBT Montanans, the House Judiciary Committee decided this morning to take away the right of localities to protect their own residents,” said the Montana Human Rights Network, in a statement.

“Localities have the right and the legal ability to go beyond the Montana Human Rights Act. The Montana Human Rights Act sets the floor. It does not set the ceiling. Cities have the authority to establish ordinances and policies that protect and value members of their communities that have faced a history of discrimination.”

The committee voted 13-7 to endorse the bill, authored by Rep. Kristin Hansen (R-Havre).

The GOP majority on the committee also voted to table HB 514, which would have expanded the expand Missoula’s anti-discrimination ordinance statewide. The move to table that measure came after a motion to pass the bill failed.

Hansen’s bill now goes to the full House for its consideration and a vote.

Update: 2/22/11: On Tuesday afternoon, the Montana state House passed a bill which overturns Missoula’s anti-discrimination ordinance by a vote of 60-39. The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.

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11 more reader comments:

  1. Urghhh.

    Posted on Monday, February 21, 2011 at 8:33pm
  2. WHAT!!!!! agh!!!! we need to step forward, not backwards!!! America open your eyes!!!

    Posted on Monday, February 21, 2011 at 8:34pm
  3. grrr!

    Posted on Monday, February 21, 2011 at 8:35pm
  4. fukn lames…let the ppl do wat they want…its ben long enuff give us our rites now america…some home of the free!

    Posted on Monday, February 21, 2011 at 8:38pm
  5. I say we start a revolution within our own country. Civil war brought peace to those being discriminated. And believe me, I know some strong muscular homosexual Americans who work for military. Hate to sound all anti-government, but in a time of crisis, I say. DO IT.

    Posted on Monday, February 21, 2011 at 8:40pm
  6. Kaylie is a skanky whore for liking that. >:C

    Posted on Monday, February 21, 2011 at 8:41pm
  7. H…..D…..B
    A……I……I
    T……S…..G
    E……C…..O
    F……R……T
    U……I……E
    L……M…..D
    ………I
    ………N
    ………A
    ………T
    ………O
    ………R
    ………Y

    Posted on Monday, February 21, 2011 at 8:45pm
  8. Dislike! Damn haters.

    Posted on Monday, February 21, 2011 at 8:47pm
  9. It’s Montana.. Right up there in the Rear View Mirror club with Montana, Iowa, et al

    Posted on Monday, February 21, 2011 at 9:13pm
  10. shows what i’ve dealt with my entire lifetime. i’m ex-military, born and raised montanan, and will not be driven out of my home state at any cost. my very existance here will some day make it easier for those who follow me. either way, i do NOT support our socialistic country who blatantly lies, calling themselves a free nation while allowing discrimination against a group of people who for the most part are much more pure than the rest. and the “religious right wing” should be ashamed of themselves. seems to me they are proving that they are no different from the KKK.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 22, 2011 at 8:59am
  11. GET OVER IT! First we fight because of the color of our skin and then its fighting over who you can love. Its 2011 and we have not grown through the generations apparently! Everyone who is queer keep being a voice! Be out, have stickers on your car, let people at work know… We need to make it know and stand up for our rights as a team. A team is the only way we will be able to overcome such hatred in the world.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 22, 2011 at 3:16pm