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Montana House Narrowly Defeats 'Religious Freedom' Bill With Evenly Split Vote

Mt

The Montana Legislature turned down a proposed referendum Friday after the bill, which resembles Indiana’s religious freedom bill, failed to pass on a 50-50 vote reports the Associated Press. Opponents of HB 615 argued that the bill’s language is so vague it would’ve allowed any church, business or individual to openly discriminate and freely violate laws; supporters of HB 615 countered that the measure would have brought a 1993 federal law to the state level that is aimed at preventing legislation that considerably burdens a person’s right to exercise religion.

The AP adds:

When he presented the proposal Wednesday, Republican Rep. Carl Glimm of Kila said he intended for the bill to prioritize people's "sincerely held religious belief" above job descriptions. He and other supporters said it would allow county clerks to refuse marriage licenses to gay people and let pharmacists refuse to fill birth control prescriptions if they felt it would inhibit their religious practice. [...]

Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock said before the floor debate that Montanans respect each other enough not to need a law like Indiana's, which at least one large corporation cited when pulling its business out of that state this week.

"What's happening in Indiana is something that shouldn't be happening in Montana," Bullock said before the floor debate. He added, "We don't need laws like that imported into our state."

The AP notes the bill could be reconsidered Saturday. 


Missoula, Montana Anti-Gay Hate Crime Was Fabricated: Police - VIDEO

Joseph

An update on the anti-gay assault that was reported to have happened over the weekend in Missoula, Montana.

Joseph Baken, of Billings, had reported to police that he was beaten by three men after spending the evening at the Missoula Club and asking for the location of a gay bar. Now police say they have new information they are following up on and believe that the incident was fabricated.

The Missoula Independent reports:

...the Missoula Independent and MPD obtained video footage that shows Baken doing a backflip on Higgins Avenue and sustaining the injuries, lacerations to his face, that have been depicted on social media sites, during the landing.

Baken will likely be charged for making a false report, according to police. Baken's alleged story spread quickly on the web yesterday after the Wipeout Homophobia Facebook page posted his photo.

Watch the video footage, AFTER THE JUMP...

UPDATED. "Joseph Baken pleaded guilty this afternoon in Missoula Municipal Court to charges of filing a false police report. He was sentenced to 180 days in jail and a $300 fine. The jail time was suspended."

Continue reading "Missoula, Montana Anti-Gay Hate Crime Was Fabricated: Police - VIDEO" »


Gay Man Allegedly Beaten in Homophobic Attack in Missoula, Montana

Joseph

UPDATE: Law enforcement now says the incident was fabricated.

A man identified as "Joseph" was targeted in an anti-gay beating outside a bar in Missoula, Montana in the early hours of Sunday, according to the Wipeout Homophobia page on Facebook, which posted the above set of photos today.

The Missoulian confirms that the man had gone to the Missoula Club to celebrate his 22nd birthday, and it was outside of that establishment that the attack took place:

The man told police he’d asked people about the location of a gay bar, when someone asked him to step outside for a cigarette, Brodie said.

But the man said that when he left the bar, someone hit him, and then two more people joined in, Brodie said. The incident happened at 1:30 a.m. Sunday and the man reported it to police at 4:30 a.m., after he got home, Brodie said.

Missoula Police Lt. Scott Brodie told the paper that the man “indicated he was assaulted because of his sexual preference."

According to KPAX, "Police say they're considering the assault a misdemeanor."


Montana Congressional Candidate Dave Strohmaier Releases Ad Supporting Marriage Equality: VIDEO

Strohmaier

Dave Strohmaier, a Missoula, Montana City Councilman who was a sponsor of that city's LGBT anti-discrimination ordinance is now running for Congress and has just put out this ad supporting marriage equality.

"And you know what, it sure does annoy Republicans."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Montana Congressional Candidate Dave Strohmaier Releases Ad Supporting Marriage Equality: VIDEO" »


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