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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Bathroom Initiative 'Should Have Been A Slam Dunk,' Montana Family Foundation Says

All-Gender restroom sign.
All-Gender restroom sign.

The group that proposed a ballot initiative asking voters to regulate who can use a public bathroom based on a person’s sex at birth acknowledged today that they failed to get enough support to move forward.

Jeff Laszloffy of the Montana Family Foundation announced during the organization’s radio update this morning that the so-called Locker Room Privacy Act didn’t get the 26,000 signatures it needed to appear on the ballot this November. The Associated Press reported that on June 30.

In today’s broadcast, Laszloffy said that about 9,000 signatures were gathered.

“What should have been a slam dunk in the end came up woefully short and we need to figure out why before the next big battle surfaces,” he said.

Laszloffy says evangelical and catholic churches that have supported the Montana Family Foundation’s efforts in the past did not support this initiative and some members of the congregations felt afraid to support it out of fear of personal backlash.

Laszloffy also blames the initiative's failure on what he says was misinformation spread by the press, and two lawsuits challenging the initiative's language and intent filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Yesterday afternoon the ACLU sent out a celebratory email to its supporters announcing the failure of that I-183. The ACLU says the initiative posed a threat to the rights of people who are transgender and those who do not identify as exclusively  male or female.

Corin Cates-Carney manages MTPR’s daily and long-term news projects. After spending more than five years living and reporting across Western and Central Montana, he became news director in early 2020.
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