HB 516 was passed out of committee by a vote of 13-7. This bill, now on it’s way to the state House legislature, will remove all local ordinances passed by cities and towns in Montana that would protect LGBT citizens.
The city of Missoula had passed protections for LGBT community members and this seemed to rile the conservative members of state legislature. The Montana Human Rights Act does not cover LGBT citizens.
That is exactly why the City of Missoula passed its Anti-Discrimination Ordinance in April of 2010. Missoula is the home of the University of Montana.
The panel also voted to table HB 514, a bill that would have expanded the Montana Human Rights Act to prohibit discrimination based on gender identity or expression and sexual orientation.
From the Montana Human Rights Network: This will repeal not only the Missoula ordinance – but existing policies and resolutions that other cities have passed to protect their residents. People from across the state came to speak out in opposition (Helena, Cardwell, Butte, Billings, Great Falls, Bozeman, Missoula, Sidney and Opportunity, MT all came to the Capitol on Friday to stand in opposition to HB 516) – and their testimony was not only limited to ten minutes total, but cut off.
Sad day for equal rights in Montana.