Discrimination | Montana | News

Missoula, MT City Council Passes Non-Discrimination Ordinance 10-2 After Seven Hour Meeting

Missoula  

This is a big deal for Montana.

After weeks of contentious debate which saw the formation of groups dedicated to promoting ugly falsehoods regarding transgender people and public bathroom usage (notmybathroom.com) and other groups working to correct those distortions (flushthefear.com), Missoula, Montana last night (early this morning) passed the state's first anti-discrimination ordinance offering protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Missoulacc  The Missoulian reports:

"In front of citizens who sat through a nearly seven-hour meeting, the council voted 10-2 in favor of the measure - which protects Missoula residents from housing and employment discrimination based on 'actual or perceived ... sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.' The measure passed at 1:45 a.m. 'Hopefully our actions tonight will ripple through Montana from Libby to Billings, from Dillon to Wolf Point, and eventually to the capital in Helena,' said Councilman Dave Strohmaier, another sponsor of the ordinance. Early in the evening, Mayor John Engen warned people he would recess the meeting if the audience clapped for anyone - for or against the proposal. When the final vote was taken, the pent-up applause erupted and many supporters who remained in the room offered the council a standing ovation."

The debate was emotional, the paper reports. One witness, Taryn Nash, the daughter of Tei Nash, who launched the group Notmybathroom.com, spoke out against her father after traveling from school in Spokane, saying: "Dad. I strongly disagree with the way you have been portraying the LGBT community. You have gone too far. I will not sit back any more and be quiet. I love you because you are my dad, but I have lost respect for you. You need to realize this crusade you are on is wrong, and it affects me personally. Right now I am ashamed to call you my father."

Video.

Congratulations to all who worked to get this passed.

(top image by Michael Gallacher - The Missoulian)

Missoula City Council Approves Non-Discrimination Ordinance [missoulian]
Deep Rifts: Residents Pack Missoula Council Meeting on Anti-Discrimination Ordinance [missoulian]

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Comments

  1. "Protect the Women" is probably my favorite protest sign of all time. Clearly some sort of context is missing.

    Posted by: NobertJoe | Apr 13, 2010 8:50:25 AM


  2. Montana is a beautiful place.
    This adds to the beauty.

    Montana, you rock!

    Posted by: Fred | Apr 13, 2010 9:17:16 AM


  3. Wow. Went to notmybathroom.com WOAH. Now, I am all for more toilets, but wtf?! That site is crazy.

    Personally, I think there should be only two types of public toilets: Number One and Number Two.

    If you only have to pee you go in the big toilet with thirty stalls, if you have to do Number 2 you walk into a one toilet room with tons of air freshener.

    Posted by: Rin | Apr 13, 2010 10:00:26 AM


  4. Their were so many from our community that worked tirelessly to get this passed. More than 400 people took to the streets to march down to City Council Chambers. Because of overcrowding at least 5 local bars agreed to broadcast the hearing- I know at least two of them were filled with tension as supporters waited till the very end for the vote. The amount of love, relief, joy, and history making excitement that filled the air at that moment still gives me goosebumps and I'll never forget it. Thank you for your support and your coverage- and thank you Missoula for setting the standard for the state!

    Posted by: Chantz | Apr 13, 2010 3:33:46 PM


  5. *There. Sorry folks- it was a long night.

    Posted by: Chantz | Apr 13, 2010 3:34:45 PM


  6. Congratulations to the people of Missoula. I'm VERY impressed.

    And to the young woman who courageously stood up to her father's hurtful and harmful ignorance, OH HELL YEAH. We need more kids to take such courageous stands. We also need more parents of GLBT kids to have the courage to speak up when they hear hateful things about gay people spewed at their churches and businesses and coffee shops. My parents have come a LONG way but I doubt very seriously that they speak up on my behalf when they hear hateful, inaccurate things said about gay people or the gay community.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Apr 13, 2010 3:44:55 PM


  7. I'm proud as hell of our little town.

    Posted by: sissyspaceship | Apr 13, 2010 5:16:39 PM


  8. I'm happy to hear this, but Missoula hardly reflects Montana as a whole. It's a liberal bastion. Still, great news.

    Posted by: Paul R | Apr 13, 2010 9:05:37 PM


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