The Montana GOP railed against the overreaching federal government into areas that they say states should have the powers to decide during the election cycle.
TEA Partiers claimed that by passing federal laws that weren’t popular at the state level, they were engaging in nothing short of tyranny. Now, these very same people, now elected to positions at the state level are turning around and doing the same thing to local governments.
TEA Party lawmaker Kris Hanson (R-Havre) would allow state government to override local ordinances and would require re-legalizing discrimination in our communities.
Yes, it seems too hypocritical to be true, but Hansen’s bill would actually overturn the popular Missoula Nondiscrimination Ordinance that so many worked so hard to pass last spring. The ordinance protects LGBT people from discrimination in the areas of housing, employment, and public accommodations. Nothing controversial here. But Rep. Hansen’s bill doesn’t stop with Missoula. It would prohibit any locality from passing an ordinance, resolution, or policy that protects a class of people beyond what the Montana Human Rights Act already covers. And it’s retroactive, which calls into question any personnel policy or resolution that a locality has already passed.
After Montana has failed to protect LGBT Montanans at the state level for decades, localities have decided to take the initiative and protect their own residents. This is the legal right of cities and counties across Montana. And since when did the GOP have a thing against local control?
Hansen’s HB 516 will be heard at 8am on Friday, February 18th in House Judiciary.