Montana Public Radio

LGBTQ

Debate Over LBGT Civil Rights Reaches MT Campaigns

Apr 7, 2016
Anthony Romero, attorney and executive director, of the ACLU
Courtesy ACLU

Debate over new law in North Carolina aimed at civil rights for the LBGT community has become a campaign issue across the country, including Montana’s gubernatorial contest. Anthony Romero, attorney and executive director of the ACLU, is scheduled to be in Montana April 13 and 14, 2016 to discuss this and other civil liberty issues. 

Religious Freedom, Or Freedom To Discriminate?

Mar 25, 2015
Rep. Carl Glimm (R) HD6
Montana Legislature

A wide array of interest groups and state officials lined up to testify against a bill that purports to give Montanans more religious freedom, because they say it would only guarantee the freedom to discriminate.

Carl Glimm, a Republican Representative from Ashley Lake, is sponsoring a bill that, he says, would ensure that the government could not infringe on a person’s religious rights unless it had a “compelling interest” in doing so.

These Bills Died In The First Half Of The Montana Legislature's Session

Mar 3, 2015
Montana Capitol
William Marcus

Nearly 350 bill proposals have died in the Montana Legislature’s first half. Because of that, here’s some of what will stay the same in the state.

The minimum wage won’t increase for a while, speed limits will stay at 75, physicians can still aid terminal patients in dying, and the state's death penalty stands. People can still be thrown out of their house or fired for their gender identity or sexual expression.

The federal government will still be able to sell public lands in Montana. Brewers still have to jump through legal hoops to get a liquor license for a bar.

Senate Committe Kills LGBT Equality Bill On Party Line Vote

Jan 30, 2015
Montana Legislature

Today, the Montana Legislature grappled with the topic of discrimination.

One bill, brought by Democratic Senator Christine Kaufmann was intended to end discrimination for members of Montana’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community. Opponents argued it infringed upon their freedom of religion.

 That bill died 7 to 5 along party lines with Republicans voting it down.

Lawmakers Consider Changing Same-Sex Marriage Law

Jan 30, 2015
Legislature Hears Passionate Testimony On Discrimination Protections For LGBTQ Montanans
Josh Burnham

This morning the Montana Legislature hosted another round of the seemingly endless debate over legalizing same-sex marriage.

Gay Marriage Plaintiffs React To Judge's Ruling

Nov 19, 2014
Courtesy ACLU of Montana

For certain Montana residents today will be one of those days when they remember where they were when they heard the news. Sue Hawthorne was out shopping with her sister when, as she puts it, her phone started ‘exploding’ with calls and texts from friends. Federal Judge Brian Morris had ruled in a lawsuit in which Hawthorne was a plaintiff. Her marriage to Adel Johnson of Helena, performed in Washington state several months ago, was now legally recognized in Montana:

Legislature Hears Passionate Testimony On Discrimination Protections For LGBTQ Montanans
Josh Burnham

A federal judge today struck down Montana’s ban on gay marriage. Attorney General Tim Fox says he’ll appeal.

Judge Brian Morris in Great Falls ruled that Montana’s law violates the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.

The law was challenged by four couples represented by the ACLU of Montana.

The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over Montana, in September ruled similar gay marriage bans in Idaho and Nevada unconstitutional. But conflicting decisions remain in other federal courts, and the U.S. Supreme court has not issued a final word.

A new report says at least four Montana cities can do more to protect their lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens and employees.
 
According to the Municipality Equality Index, produced by the Human Rights Campaign, the average score for cities in Montana is 44 out of 100 points. That's below the national average of 59.

Billings scored 23 points, Bozeman 40 and Helena 53. Great Falls scored 2 points and Missoula 100.  

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