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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Religious Freedom Bill Fails On Tie Vote In The Montana House

Rep. Carolyn Pease-Lopez
Montana Legislature

Montana House members have defeated a “religious freedom” bill, after impassioned testimony from those who felt it would enable discrimination.  

The bill is similar to ones that have drawn protests and boycotts in other states.  While supporters saw it as a way to ensure that government would not interfere in the free expression of religion, opponents saw another agenda: enabling businesses to refuse service to customers because of their race or sexual orientation. 

Billings Democrat Carolyn Pease-Lopez angrily condemned it as nothing more than encouragement for bigots. “I detest acts of racism and discrimination because they diminish life," Pease-Lopez said. "They stifle people’s potential, and they damage the soul”

The House debated the bill for nearly an hour before casting a 50-50 tie vote on it, which means it's probably dead for this session.

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