NRRT endorses proposed anti-discrimination ordinance

On April 12, the Missoula city council is scheduled to consider a proposed ordinance adding sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression to the list of protected classes in anti-discrimination law.  Joining such other protected classes as “race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, creed, marital or familial status, and physical or mental disability”, the addition of gender and orientation to the legal code would make Missoula the first city in the state of Montana to do so.  This change claims to enforce non-discriminatory practices in employment, housing, and service in all places of business usually open to the public such as restaurants, stores, schools and public parks.

Bitterly opposed by many homophobes and transphobes around the region, invoking such strawman scenarios as pedophiles in public bathrooms preying on unsupervised children with legal impunity, and poor, innocent clergy performing marriages against their will; this ordinance may actually serve as another catalyst in the half-century long struggle for the civil-rights of yet another marginalized community in this country.

Northern Rockies Rising Tide recognizes the intersectionality among all forms of oppression, and considers environmental justice, economic justice and social justice to be one and the same.  NRRT commends the  City Council for its effort to show solidarity with Missoula’s queer community and endorses this ordinance.

*UPDATE* On Monday, April 12, the city council of Missoula approved the ordinance 10-2 after a seven hour meeting reported to be the most widely attended and viewed such meeting in at least thirty years.  Mayor Jon Engen signed the ordinance two days later.  For a full account of these historic events read this excellent article from the local alternative press.

    • Dallas
    • March 27th, 2010

    You through out homophobe seemingly not knowing it’s meaning. You should look it up. No one in our group that I know of are homophobes including myself. We all have friends and family that claim that title and we don’t feel any different about them than we do our heterosexual friends and family. Sorry to disappoint you.

    If you will read the ordinance you will see that it does do what we are concerned about and much more. Read the definition of “Public Accomodations” and then read 9.64.040. You will notice the word “facilities” and “bathroom” and “services” and “activities”. Law makers are supposed to look at a law and determine exactly what it will do in all circumstance. We are asking these law makers to pay attention to the wording of the law. And if they will they will see that it needs to be killed. The fact is that the homosexuals agree there is no discrimination against homosexuals in Missoula and they have produced no evidence that there has been any problems with transgenders using the restrooms. So if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it, especially if it would make over half of the Missoula population, women, uncomfortable and fearful.

    • Thank you for your comment, Dallas. The ordinance has been read word for word several times (and has been linked to in the original post) and will be read again as you’ve recommended. Since there seems to be some misunderstanding about what homophobia (and transphobia) is, perhaps you’d like to read this and this as well.

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