Armed with rainbow Pride flags and signs that read “Let me be me!,” dozens of Montana residents protested at the state capital in Helena against anti-LGBTQ legislation.
From The Advocate:
One of the bills, The Religious Freedom Restoration act, has already passed the Senate. If made into law, it would allow people to challenge or ignore government regulations that they say interfere with their religious beliefs.
The government would then have to prove “it’s actions are justified by a compelling interest and are being accomplished by the least restrictive means possible” according to the Associated Press.
LGBTQ+ Montanans fear that the law would be used to challenge anti-discrimination ordinances that exist in some cities. Montana’s Human Rights Act does not include protections based on gender identity.
Other anti-LGBTQ bills in the works in Montana include bills that would require proof of gender reassignment surgery in order to change the gender marker on birth certificates; prohibiting doctors from performing such surgeries on minors (which doesn’t happen); and legislation that would prevent transgender girls from playing school sports.
The Advocate reports there are at least 108 bills being considered across the country that target LGBTQ+ people, including 71 specifically anti-trans bills.