Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) has signed not one but two anti-LGBTQ bills into law this week – Senate Bill 99 and House Bill 112.
Senate Bill 99 calls for “a parent, guardian, or other person who is responsible for the care of a child” to be allowed to “refuse to allow the child to attend… a course of instruction, a class period, an assembly, an organized school function, or instruction provided by the district… regarding human sexuality instruction.”
If any instruction is scheduled having to do with “human sexuality” – or even just sexually transmitted diseases – at least 48 hours notice must be given to parents. “Human sexuality education” is defined in the bill as anything related to “sexual orientation, gender identity, and abstinence.”
House Bill 112 calls for “public school athletic teams to be designated based on biological sex.” Additionally, cisgender athletes will be able to seek damages from schools that allow transgender students to compete as their gender identity because of the “direct or indirect” harm that would be caused for the cisgender student.
State Rep. John D. Fuller (R) introduced the bill in January. He told Montana Public Radio he “felt compelled to introduce the legislation because he’s coached women’s soccer and he thinks transgender women have a physical advantage if they compete in sports consistent with their gender identity. That is unfair to females and women’s sports — period.”
Montana is now the 7th state to prohibit trans youth from participating in sports to some degree.
Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, South Dakota, Tennessee, and West Virginia have adopted similar laws that shut the door on transgender girls playing sports as their gender identity.
• Boy Culture: Out actor Richard Chamberlain (above) turned 87 this week. Click over to BC for more photos of the eternally handsome star.
• The Gaily Grind: The Nebraska Supreme Court has reversed a ruling by a judge who denied a lesbian couple’s petition to adopt a child because he said a dictionary defined a “wife” as having a husband.
• Instinct Magazine: Did you know it’s the 20th anniversary of the first legal same-sex wedding and marriage? Twenty years ago, Dutch couple Gert Kasteel and Dolf Pasker became the first same-sex couple to get legally married in the Netherlands and the world.
• CNN: The ongoing Phase 3 clinical trial of Pfizer/BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine confirms its protection remains high for at least six months after the second dose and likely lasts even longer. The vaccine also appears to be fully effective against the B.1.351 variant currently circulating in South Africa and beyond.
• RawStory: Supporters of Donald Trump are furious that his vice president, Mike Pence, might try to run for president in 2024. Trump fans are still angry about Pence refusing to fight the 2020 election with the Electoral College certification.
• NBC News: Every Republican in Congress voted against President Biden’s COVID stimulus package, that’s not stopping them from trumpeting popular aspects of the bill to their constituents as if they’d actually done something.
• AP: The Montana legislature has approved a bill that would allow discrimination against LGBTQ people based on their ‘religious beliefs.’ Lawmakers rejected an amendment that would make it clear the law couldn’t be used to justify discrimination. The legislation now heads to the governor’s desk who has indicated he will sign it into law.
BREAKING: The Montana Legislature just passed a bill that grants a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people, people of faith, and women under the guise of religious freedom.
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.
• Right Wing Watch: Religious anti-gay loon Scott Lively told his radio audience that God removed Donald Trump from the White House because he was too pro-gay. #srsly
• NewNowNext: Montana’s House of Representatives has voted in favor of two vehemently anti-transgender bills. The first is House Bill 112, which would bar trans student athletes from playing on sports teams that correspond with their gender identity. The second is House Bill 113, which would block medical professionals from providing potentially life-saving gender-affirming health care to trans or nonbinary youth.
• The Frontier: Last April, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt ordered $2 million worth of hydroxychloroquine based, in part, on Donald Trump’s promotion of the malaria drug for use against the coronavirus. Now, the state is trying to unload nearly the entire shipment.
• Instinct Magazine: Nearly two months after coming out as a transgender male, Elliot Page and wife Emma Portner have filed for divorce.
• NBC News: A gay New York City couple say they were harassed and asked to leave a restaurant this month because of their sexuality. Because the incident happened in New York, the men may have legal recourse, but in nearly half the states, they would not.
• New York Times: Grindr has been fined 100 million Norwegian kroner, or about $11.7 million, for illegally disclosing private details about its users to advertising companies.
Norway’s Data Protection Authority said it plans to fine dating app Grindr $11.7 million for what the regulator said was illegal disclosure of user data to advertising firms https://t.co/QD5YYjOTJJ
• Justice Department: The Wisconsin pharmacist who intentionally intended to render hundreds of doses of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine ineffective pleaded guilty to two charges filed today in federal court. Steven R. Brandenburg, an admitted skeptic of vaccines in general, now faces up to 10 years for each charge against him.
• Reuters: The good news – By a vote of 55-45 the U.S. Senate on Tuesday rejected a Republican effort to stop former President Donald Trump’s upcoming impeachment trial on a charge that he incited the deadly Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol. The bad news – Democrats need more than 5 GOP Senators to vote to convict Trump.
Two American women who were detained by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent for speaking Spanish in a convenience store in Montana have reportedly agreed to a settlement after suing the agency.
Martha “Mimi” Hernandez and Ana Suda and were buying groceries in a store in the town of Havre on May 16, 2018, when CBP Agent Paul O’Neal stopped them and asked for their IDs. He told the pair (on video) that he was stopping them because he overheard them “speaking Spanish which is very unheard of ‘up here.'”
Note – Hernandez was born in El Centro, California, and moved to Montana in 2010. Suda was born in El Paso, Texas, and moved to Montana in 2014.
USA Todayreports that during the lawsuit, text messages were found on O’Neill’s phone that contained derogatory and racist language.
According to the ACLU, the lawsuit also found O’Neill belonged to a secret Facebook group called the “I’m 10-15,” where CBP agents and former agents shared ugly comments and joked about the deaths of migrants. The group has since been disbanded.
A video statement obtained by the ACLU showed a CBP supervisor admitting that his agents routinely viewed people speaking Spanish with suspicion in Havre, which is majority white but has a growing Latino population.
“[Havre] is a small place,” the CBP supervisor said on the video. “And we have a lot of agents here, and nobody really has much to do… I was sitting at the mall off duty with my family. I’m sitting there at the restaurant, I look up it’s — there’s two Mexicans. Maybe I should call about this.”
The amount of the settlement has not been disclosed. Hernandez and Suda eventually moved away from Havre after facing backlash for speaking out.
For months, even when he was still a presidential candidate, Mr. Bullock has faced questions about whether he would take on Mr. Daines. And when he dropped out of the presidential race in December — after a spirited but underfunded campaign — he again said that he would not run for the Senate.
But Mr. Bullock, who is barred by term limits from running for re-election this year, has faced one of the most sustained lobbying campaigns of any would-be Senate candidate — a reflection both of his potential as a candidate and how badly Democrats need to put another seat in play.
Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the minority leader, flew to visit him in Montana last month. And when Mr. Bullock was in Washington last month for the meeting of the National Governors Association, he also met with former President Barack Obama, as was reported by Politico.
More quietly, a handful of union officials have reached out to Mr. Bullock to assure him he would have all the resources he needs in a state that still retains a strong labor tradition, according to one of the party officials, who was familiar with the conversations.
The attorney for a 39-year-old man charged with assaulting a child who didn’t take his hat off for the national anthem says his client, compromised by a traumatic brain injury, believes he was acting on an order from President Donald Trump.
Superior resident Curt Brockway was charged Monday with felony assault on a minor. His defense attorney, Lance Jasper, told the Missoulian Wednesday the president’s “rhetoric” contributed to the U.S. Army veteran’s disposition when he choke-slammed a 13-year-old, fracturing his skull, at the Mineral County fairgrounds on Aug. 3.
“His commander in chief is telling people that if they kneel, they should be fired, or if they burn a flag, they should be punished,” Jasper said. “He certainly didn’t understand it was a crime.”
A 39-year-old Montana man was arrested for a violent assault on a 13-year-old boy fracturing the teen’s skull.
Curt James Brockway reportedly told authorities “he had every right” to pick the boy up and slam him to the ground because, in his opinion, the teen had disrespected the national anthem by not removing his hat.
USA Today reports the boy had to be airlifted to a hospital due to the attack. His parent’s told the press he bled from his ears for nearly six hours.
Prosecutors asked Brockway’s bond be set at $100,000, but the judge allowed him to be released on his own recognizance.
Brockway is apparently registered as a violent offender with a police record going back to 2010.
Watch the report from local news station KPAX below:
Update – CNN’s Don Lemon chats with ‘plaid shirt guy’ whose name is Tyler Linfesty, a Billings West High School senior.
Watch his informative interview with Lemon below.
With all the hyperbolic statements Donald Trump made last night at a rally in Billings, Montana, one attendee was unable to suppress his expressions.
Take a look at green plaid shirt guy – hysterical.
This hilarious, too-candid guy behind Trump was deemed an unsuitable background prop by the Trump choreographers. He was replaced (see next tweet) with someone who could actually feign enthusiasm for Dear Leader.