Montana GOPer Kristin Hansen pushing anti-gay bill based on blatant homophobia

Last September, a Montana Tea Party leader thought gays should be murdered. That caused quite a stir. But, homophobia is alive and well in the Montana State House.

Now, State Representative Kristin Hansen (R-Havre) is leading an effort to strip the only legal protections provided to the Montana LGBT community. In that, only Missoula offers those protections — and these are the most basic non-discrimination protections. So, Hansen is pushing a bill in the legislature to strip Missoula’s protections. And, her GOP colleagues are going along:

The Republican majority on the House Judiciary Committee approved a bill Monday that would effectively overturn Missoula’s 2010 ordinance banning discrimination against city residents based on their sexual orientation and gender.

House Bill 516 by Rep. Kristin Hansen, R-Havre, now moves to the House floor for debate this week.

It would prohibit local governments from enacting ordinances or policies that seek to protect residents from real or perceived discrimination based on their sexual orientation and gender as the cities of Missoula did through an ordinance and Bozeman did through a policy.

The panel voted earlier Monday to table HB514 by Rep. Edie McClafferty, D-Butte, which would have broadened the Montana Human Rights Act to prohibit discrimination statewide based on gender identity or expression and sexual orientation. The move to table her bill came after the bill was rejected 14-6.

You just have to wonder what’s going on in the head of Rep. Hansen. Clearly, she wanted to establish herself as the Montana legislature’s leading homophobe. And, she’s earned herself a national reputation along the way. Let’s just be clear: Hansen’s bill is based on hate and bigotry.

The Montana Cowgirl Blog
is providing great coverage of this issue. Check out this post with the video of testimony from one of the supporters of Rep. Hansen’s bill (Hint: he quotes Leviticus.)

Let’s hope this bill dies on the House floor or in the Senate. If you live in Montana, call your legislators. Looks like the Montana Human Rights Network is leading the opposition.

And, I’d like to hear Governor Schweitzer say he’d veto this bill.

On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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