Montana Public Radio

State Supreme Court Orders Clarification Of Proposed Bathroom Amendment

Sep 19, 2017

The Montana Attorney General will now have to clarify a ballot proposal intended to prohibit transgender Montanans from using the public bathrooms of their choice. The Montana Supreme Court has granted the ACLU of Montana’s petition challenging the sufficiency of I-183’s ballot statement and fiscal note.

Alex Rate is the ACLU of Montana’s legal director.

"The argument that we presented to the Supreme Court is that Montana voters should know that they’re essentially voting on a discrimination initiative that targets transgender Montanans," Rate says.

The Court found that Initiative-183’s intended and unintended consequences were inadequately explained by the statement accompanying the ballot initiative’s original language.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Montana challenged the ballot proposal saying it discriminated against transgender and gender non-conforming Montanans. ACLU of Montana also asserted the ballot measure would hurt the state’s economy and that was not accounted for in the measure’s original description.

North Carolina took a projected $3.76 billion hit to its economy when it passed a similar law.
The ACLU of Montana said it will "continue to investigate any and all avenues available to ensure the I-183 never becomes law."