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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Group Speaks Out Against Montana Bathroom Initiative

Zuri Moreno speaks at the launch of Free and Fair Montana campaign in Billings, Tuesday, April 17, 2018 in this screen capture from Free and Fair Montana's Facebook video.
Screen capture from Free and Fair Montana's Facebook video.

A group called Free and Fair Montana is urging voters to oppose the so-called “bathroom ballot” initiative that would require people to use public restrooms and locker rooms that align with the gender on their birth certificate rather than the gender by which they live and identify.

The group launched their campaign against I-183 in Billings on Tuesday.

Zuri Moreno, an executive committee member for Free and Fair Montana, emceed the launch.

"We will not accept any form of discrimination veiled in the pretense of public safety that compromises our ability to live our lives freely and to feel safe in our communities."

Free and Fair Montana is made up of a coalition of Montana organizations including Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union of Montana.

The launch included speakers like Michele Grabbe of Belgrade, who is the mother of a trans child.

"We don’t want to jump up and find ourselves in a situation between a momma bear and her cub, and initiative 183 is right there in my family."

I-183 made headlines last fall when the ACLU of Montana challenged the language of the ballot proposal saying that it discriminated against transgender and gender non-conforming Montanans.

The Montana Supreme Court ruled that the ballot proposal did require further clarification, and it was subsequently revised.

The initiative has not yet received enough signatures to appear on the 2018 ballot. Those signatures are due June 22.

Maxine is the All Things Considered host and reporter for MTPR. She got her start at MTPR as a Montana News intern. She has also worked at KUNC in Northern Colorado and for Pacific Standard magazine as an editorial fellow covering wildfire and the environment.
Maxine graduated from the University of Montana with a master's degree in natural resource journalism and has a degree in creative writing from Vassar College. When she’s not behind the microphone you can find Maxine skiing, hiking with her not-so-well-behaved dogs, or lost in a book.
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