Montana Hub




Bozeman, Montana City Council Gives Initial Approval to LGBT Nondiscrimination Ordinance

The Bozeman, Montana City Council voted 4-0 to approve an LGBT nondiscrimination ordinance at its meeting last night, NBC Montana reports:

BozemanBefore commissioners could vote, they listened to more than two hours of public comment from members of the community. Around 55 people took to the podium to speak on the ordinance, which would protect individuals from discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.

People have been showing up to meetings for months to speak on the topic, but this was the second round of official public comment. The comments ranged from people who were in full support of the ordinance, to those against, and everywhere in between.

The measure was passed following some changes from the mayor regarding religious exemptions, the Helena Independent Record adds:

Commissioners exempted religious schools and corporations from the hiring requirements. They also exempted goods or facilities provided for a service that is primarily religious in nature from the public accommodations requirements.

Commissioners will need to vote one more time at an upcoming meeting before the ordinance becomes law.


Skating on Glass: VIDEO

Skating

This is just a very simple clip of people skating on a lake in Montana's Swan Valley that froze so quickly it's as transparent as glass. It might give you some peace today.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Thousands Counterprotest Westboro Baptist Church in Montana, Serve Ice Cream for Equality: VIDEO

Bozeman

Thousands of people showed up at different locations in Bozeman, Montana late last week to counterprotest the Westboro Baptist Church at Bozeman High School and Montana State University, where they were offering free ice cream for equality in an effort to show support for LGBT people.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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ACLU Files Suit To Overturn Montana's Ban On Benefits For Same-Sex Couples

MontanaFollowing similar suits in North Carolina and Pennsylvania, the American Civil Liberties Union of Montana has filed an amended lawsuit against the state on behalf of seven gay couples in an attempt to win for them the same benefits that married straight couples receive. The Missoulian reports:

In the amended lawsuit, attorney James Goetz identifies numerous statues, including laws he says prevent gay couples from receiving financial protections given to police officers and spouses and from designating their partners as beneficiaries for worker's compensation.  

Other laws Goetz cites exclude gay couples from financial protections for surviving spouses, authority over end-of-life decisions, financial protections due to illness or disability and protections from the dissolution of their relationships. 

In December 2012, the Montana Supreme Court denied the ACLU's original appeal challenging every statue excluding committed same-sex couples form protections granted to straight couples. The Justices did say, however, that the ACLU could move forward with statute-specific efforts to secure equal treatment for same-sex couples in the state. 


A Human Rights and LGBT Equality Music Festival for Montana? - VIDEO

Chamberlin

Tate Chamberlin is hoping to create a place of pride for Montana's LGBT community with a human rights, equality, and music festival called Interchange, which he's trying to fund through an Indiegogo campaign.

Watch his video, AFTER THE JUMP...

He writes:

In 2011, the Bozeman [Pride] Celebration garnered attendance well over 2,000, which more than doubled in 2012 with upwards of 5,100 attending between downtown and Montana State University events. Out of state attendance showed dynamic growth and the overall feedback from these events showed a majority of positive feedback from sponsors and attendees.

In 2013, Bozeman will be hosting it’s first year of INTERCHANGE: An annual festival celebrating strides in human rights, equality, and the continuing dialogue on a number of important issues. INTERCHANGE will annually evolve as we do, integrating awareness and giving a voice to a number of innovative topics, whether scientific, creative, national performing artists or otherwise so long as they support the evolution and improvement of the causes essential to the spirit of the event.

Interchange

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Activists Cheer as Montana Governor Signs Bill Decriminalizing Gay Sex: VIDEO

Bullock_montana

Yesterday in a ceremony at the Montana State Capitol, Governor Steve Bullock signed into law a bill decriminalizing gay sex, Reuters reports:

"I am not going to speak too long," Democratic Governor Steve Bullock told the crowd packed into the expansive rotunda of the state capitol for a signing ceremony. "Because frankly, the longer I talk, the longer this unconstitutional and embarrassing law continues to stay on our books."

...

Montana Human Rights Network Organizer Jamee Greer says the bill's passage is "the first explicit victory for the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) community through the (Montana) legislature in history."

But Greer says it's just one step toward full equality in the state.

Watch the historic and happy moment as the bill is signed, AFTER THE JUMP...

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