Montana Lawmakers Receive ’21st-Century Sodomites’ Handbook as Legislature Considers Bill Decriminalizing Homosexuality


Montana Rep. Ellie Boldman Hill (D-Missoula) posted the above photo to her Facebook page, saying:

"Here's what all Montana legislators received in their Capitol mailboxes today. There are no words for what is going on up here."

Hill's post comes as the Montana legislature considers yet again a bil to remove an unconstitutional statue criminalizing homosexuality from its books.

As Mother Jones notes:

Montana is one of four states, along with Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, that still have laws on the books specifically outlawing gay sex. Ten more states—Idaho, Utah, Michigan, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and (obviously) Florida—maintain a blanket prohibition on sodomy for persons of all sexual orientations.

The state Senate voted on Wednesday by a 38-11 vote to decriminalize it, but the bill, and another anti-discrimination bill, stand little chance of making it through the House Judiciary Committee:

Another bill before the legislature would extend the state's anti-discrimination protections to gays and lesbians for the first time—a more substantive reform that advocates hope would serve as a bulwark against bullying.

But neither proposal stands much chance of becoming law in 2013. As the Billings Gazette notes, a bill to eliminate the sodomy statute passed the Senate in 2011 only to fail in the house. "We are expecting this bill to go to House judiciary, which is a very ideologically driven committee, and we expect it to die in that committee," says Jamee Greer, a lobbyist for the Montana Human Rights Network, an LGBT equality group. "They're not showing a lot of respect to the LGBT community and I don't expect them to pass 107."


  1. SoLeftImRight says

    I’d love to know the qualifications of the Montana house judiciary committee. How can a legislature deny passage of a bill that cures a blatantly unconstitutional, ruled-upon and settled matter. The quality, intelligence and fitness for office of public officials in this country has got to be among the worst in the world.

  2. Francis says

    What often happens is that police harass gay people in these states and fall back to state laws. At least that’s how it was a few years ago talking to a gay man who lives in Kansas. So a lot of it is really about simply codifying discrimination and sending a symbolic message that being gay is wrong and unacceptable in our state. And the failure to pass LGBT discrimination ordinance further proves that.

    There are more states with de-facto anti-gay sex state bands (14) than states with marriage equality (9). Even with these state laws being unenforceable. It’s pathetic. It’s no surprise the states with sodomy bands still on the books are also all more or less socially conservative states or completely red states.

  3. Jay says

    These people are despicable. If homosexuality is so unnatural why is it a natural occurrence? Why do I have to be subjected to these folks ignorance and consequential hate?

  4. mason says

    Okay if Lawrence v. Texas said that sodomy laws, because of their prejudicial nature towards one group (i.e. gays) in application, were unconstitutional, why do states still have the right to says it’s criminal? Isn’t precedent set by the SCOTUS, or am I missing something?

  5. ratbastard says

    I find it hard to believe anyone, gay or otherwise, would not have a sodomy charge thrown out of court, no matter the state. Of course such charges can be used to harass people. Some of these 9 states don’t surprise, but I am surprised places like Florida, Texas, Michigan, N. Carolina haven’t removed them from the books. I know people are going to say these states have a lot of [fill in the blank], but such people exist everywhere, and Texas contains some of the biggest cities in the country, it’s biggest city,America’s 4th largest,Houston, has a lesbian mayor. Florida is actually a center or a lot of porn production,too.

    But, like a half dozen states also have different age of consent laws to look at pornography, 18 for heterosexual,21 for gay!

    Most people may be unaware that there are all kinds of bizarre,arcane laws still technically on the books, especially in states that make up the original 13 colonies. Massachusetts strictly enforced ‘blue laws’ concerning Sunday being the Sabbath and day of rest well into the 1980s. NOTHING was open on Sunday. They are called blue laws because they date from the 1600s when laws regarding religious observance were printed on blue paper.

  6. matt says

    Mason, unconstitutional laws stand until challenged. The laws are likely unenforced. If a charge was brought against an individual for violating the law, it would (eventually) fail scrutiny and be dismissed.

  7. QJ201 says

    How about we all go to Montana and get arrested. The SCOTUS has ruled these laws are unconstitutional. Therefore we’ll have a nice lawsuit to file and ca’ching, a nice settlement to go with it.

  8. anon says

    Unconstitutional but politically popular laws remain on the books in the hopes the ruling gets overturned and they can be enforced again. This rarely happens, but it remains a way to garner support for politicians. The proper way to handle arcane laws is a sunset provision in the state constitution that wipes out old laws automatically unless they pass a substantial review process. Few states have this, even though Thomas Jefferson realized during his presidency that it was the only way to deal with old and really bad colonial laws, such as the ones that required church attendance and church tithing. Of course, the money never went to England after the revolutionary war.

  9. Francis says

    A sodomy band does sound like fun Jason.

    That cover of that book is very tacky, ewww.

    Ultimately, the gays in these states have the last laugh because they’ve been f*cking and will continue to f*ck without anything these bigoted legislatures or anti-gay police can do about it! If they did attempt to arrest and charge someone under these invalid sodomy provisions, they would be sued themselves and lose the case, so that isn’t going to happen.

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