Gianforte Reiterates Support for “LGBT rights are bad for business” Statement

by Cowgirl

Greg Gianforte, who will be the GOP nominee for governor, says he stands by an email he sent to the Bozeman city council, in which he suggested that the city would be more likely to grow its economy if it were less friendly toward LBGT people.

In a recent interview with the Billings Gazette editorial board which you can watch here, Gianforte was grilled about his efforts to block a non-discrimination ordinance that would have protected LGBT individuals. When these questions come at him, Gianforte has a habit of trying to block them by not answering and giving a stock reply, “discrimination is wrong.”

NCeconomicImpact-sharable-04.13.16He did so this time too, but he became irritated, took a big sigh, and kept talking.  He said that in the case of the Bozeman Non-Discrimination Ordinance (NDO), the Bozeman city council “asked me for input, and I provided it, and I would encourage you to read the emails that went back and forth. Anything I could say today would be an abstract from that.  I stand by what I said.”  (The exchange starts at around 39:00 in the video.)

What he said in his email to the city council was this:

“homosexual advocates try to argue that business are leery of locating in towns that aren’t friendly to homosexuals.  I believe the opposite is truer.”

Meaning, in his view, that a town unfriendly toward LBGT people would do better at attracting companies.


31 Comments on "Gianforte Reiterates Support for “LGBT rights are bad for business” Statement"

  1. Underneath the names Gianforte and Robinson,
    (on the Republican Ballot for Governor of Montana)
    are the names Nelson and Sardot.
    Might be important to know
    their views and positions on LGBT rights.

  2. I have a question for Mr.Gianforte. How do YOU determine if a person is LGBT, and with your great concern for these business and employee’s, just how do you purpose they train their employee’s to identify them ? And for what purpose ?

  3. Forcing people to wear pink stars worked in Nazi Germany. I’m sure Giantfart would find that an excellent solution.

  4. Nelson and Sardot are Bitterroot Agenda-21/Tea Party-wing extremists. Nelson is a surveyer, is chair of the Ravalli Co. Republican Central Committee, was appointed to the county planner position for which he has no qualifications for by his extremist political beneficiaries five years ago, has caused the county A LOT of very costly problems since then, and is still riding high due to most peoples’ aversion to politics (read: too many young people plugging out of issues that profoundly affect them). Sardot is a medium-sized developer, very far-right, and has financially benefitted from Nelson the county “planner”. Bitterrooters for Planning just won a lawsuit against the county for passing an egregiously stupid, destructive and dishonest mega-development across the street from Metcalf wildlife refuge. We busted the county’s Nelson-style cooked books flat and the commissioners just signed off on $70,000 for attorney fees. To my knowledge, the only reason Nelson (Sardot) are running at all is to allow Gianforte to raise money for his campaign during the primary. Correct me if I’m wrong on that, but that’s sure how it looks from the Broot. They are definitely NOT (!!!!) a legitimate protest vote against Gianforte.

    • money should be no problem now in this race as federal judge just struck down Montana campaign funding law. Here come the Koch brothers.

  5. Possible the two have same church ties ?

  6. Finance limits still in ‘limbo’ and reverts to earlier statutes I heard on radio….news at 11.

  7. I was born and raised in Montana and I am so sad to see these extreme Politicians running for office. They care nothing about this state and what it really stands for.

  8. I am so very tired of bigotry and stupidity!

  9. “homosexual advocates try to argue that business are leery of locating in towns that aren’t friendly to homosexuals. I believe the opposite is truer.” On exactly what empirical data does Mr. Gianforte base this belief? And why should we regard what he believes to be true, based pretty much on the voices in his own head, is a solid underpinning for best business practices? Don’t we at least deserve candidates and office holders who believe in facts, data, research and critical thinking? Too much to ask?

  10. That siren song from the warm southern seas is calling me and I’m having a hard time resisting it but I just hate the idea of abandoning Montana to the mercies of the latest round of wing-nut wannabe mountain men. I know our children have a chance for a bright wonderful world but lately I’m really finding it hard to keep on fighting when so many seem to care so little. Got my absentee ballot yesterday and again I see public offices with either nobody running or only GOP candidates. I know there are Democrats in every one of our counties, are they sleeping or hiding?

    • Hmmm, so I’m wondering about the interest and feasibility of Cowgirl providing some kind of listing – before the filing deadline – of offices for which there is no Democrat on the ballot. If people knew enough in advance, perhaps a local Democrat could be found who would be willing to run.

      Any thoughts? Particularly from Cowgirl?

      • Good idea. I think we are too late this year though because March 14th was the filing deadline, but we should try to remember this for next year.

        • Yah, the info would probably need to be shared no later than early February to give people some time to think about running.

  11. The layout of your article briefly confused me. After reading in the headline “LGBT Rights Are Bad For Business” immediately followed by an image quoting the CEOs of major brands as saying, “Such laws are bad for our employees and bad for business,” I asked myself, “wait, these companies are opposed to LGBT rights?” It took a second to reorient my thoughts to realize that “LGBT rights” and “Such laws” are not referring to the same thing. You might reconsider how this is presented so it doesn’t take away from the impact (and importance) of your post. Cheers!

  12. Hillary and Obama are now pandering votes and support buy injecting law although this is Congress’s responsibility. The below is where the focus should be. With all the lawsuits flying around now with North Carolina this should be in the US Supreme Court soon and the Title VII expanded and/or more state laws implemented for clarification. Currently 13 states I believe have law to this effect. Those in interested should watch and support these changes and not be swayed by smoke and mirrors.

    Google: The Tulsa Law Review, The Misconception of Sex in Title VII: Federal Courts Reevaluate Transsexual Employment Discrimination Claims (/Excepts and Conclusion below)

    Civil Rights Act of 1964 Title VII prohibits an employer from discriminating against an employee “because of [an] individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.”88 While Title VII seems to protect all people from sex discrimination, 89 the majority of federal courts deny transsexuals’ Title VII sex discrimination claims.90 Traditionally, federal courts deny transsexuals’ discrimination claims based on a narrow interpretation of congressional intent behind the inclusion of “sex” in Title VII.91 These courts systematically held Congress intended the word “sex” to mean biological sex,92 not gender identity.93

    Courts are beginning to abandon the view that transsexuals are an oddity; instead, courts are acknowledging that transsexuals are a legitimate minority and are entitled to protection under the law. “It is a basic American value” that people should be judged on the work they perform, not on their “personal characteristics.” 326 Transsexuals should be judged no differently. Transsexuals are not seeking special protection; they are seeking equal protection under the law. [T]ransgendered people want to lead normal lives and to be employed. They do not want to live in poverty, [or] on unemployment or general assistance … in an attempt to survive. They want to live their lives quietly, without fear of discrimination, harassment and violence, just like all other citizens of this country.327 Courts like Smith and Schroer are acknowledging that transsexuals are not genderless, and that sex may encompass more than the state of one’s physical body at birth. By acknowledging that “sex” is more than “a cut-and-dried matter of chromosomes, ‘ 328 courts are correctly abandoning Ulane, which at one time was synonymous with the idea that being transsexual would automatically invalidate a Title VII claim of employment discrimination. These courts are correctly interpreting “because of … sex” within Title VII. First, courts are recognizing that Title VII, as a remedial statute, should be read broadly to accomplish its purpose. Second, these courts are recognizing the lack of legislative history on Title VII’s “because of… sex” does not limit the statute to what Congress might have had in mind when enacting the law. This recognition is shown by the Supreme Court broadening Title VII to prohibit same-sex harassment, male discrimination, and gender discrimination. Third, courts are acknowledging that the failed attempts to add sexual orientation to Title VII does not amount to failed attempts to add transsexuals to Title VII. Transsexualism is about being a man or a woman, not about being attracted to a man or a woman–a significant distinction. Finally, courts are holding that discrimination on the basis of “sex stereotyping” and/or “gender identity” is protected by Title VII. While the legal status of transsexual employment discrimination seems unsure and complicated, the cases discussed in this paper prove to be successful advances for transsexual protection from employment discrimination. It seems that both discrimination on the basis of sex stereotypes and discrimination on the basis of gender


  13. Note the Tulsa Law Review was written in 2008. 8 years of Dems and no change. Vote for change. Not chaos.

    See below: “He said a court, not a federal agency, should dictate the law,” and
    “He said Congress also should consider stepping in and make clear what sex
    discrimination means in the Civil Rights Act.”

    “The Obama administration is bypassing Congress by attempting to rewrite the law and set
    basic restroom policies, locker room policies, and even shower policies for
    public and private employers across the country, not just North Carolina,”
    RALEIGH, N.C. — After weeks of taking a beating from
    critics over North Carolina’s law dictating which restrooms transgender
    people can use, Gov. Pat McCrory adopted a strategy long favored by
    Southern conservative governors: He went after the federal government.

    The governor, trying to reshape the narrative as he fights
    for his political life, sued the Obama administration last week and accused
    officials of yet another overreach into state business. He said a court, not a federal agency, should dictate what the law
    known as House Bill 2 requires. The Justice Department sued him hours later
    over the law, with U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch casting the fight in
    stark civil rights terms.

    “It’s been successful in changing the discussion from one
    about the business community and its reactions to H.B. 2 to one that’s more
    about the state’s rights versus the federal government intervention,” said
    David McLennan, a political science professor at Meredith College in Raleigh.

    The fight, just months before McCrory faces a tough
    re-election battle, centers around a Justice Department directive that says not
    allowing transgender people to use facilities matching their gender identity
    broke the law and puts at least $1.4 billion in education funding at risk. It’s
    not the first time McCrory has called out the federal government: He joined a
    lawsuit challenging President Obama’s executive action on immigration and his
    administration has fought regulation of small streams and power plant
    emissions. He also joined a brief last fall siding with a Virginia school
    district in its efforts to dictate school bathroom use on the basis of
    biological sex.

    Hundreds of corporate executives, trade groups and other
    organizations have called for North Carolina to repeal the law. Some businesses
    have scaled back North Carolina investments or canceled projects, including
    PayPal, which stopped construction of a call center, costing the state 400
    jobs. Entertainers from Bruce Springsteen to Pearl Jam canceled shows in
    protest of the law, which also limits local government anti-discrimination
    protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

    Refusing to capitulate to the federal government is fraught
    with peril, especially when civil rights laws are involved. Previous Southern
    governors, particularly those in the 1950s who tried to defy federally mandated
    school integration, are forever defined as roadblocks to racial equality.

    Lynch hinted at that past in announcing the lawsuit, saying
    North Carolina’s law created “state-sponsored discrimination.”

    “It was not so very long ago that states, including
    North Carolina, had other signs above restrooms, water fountains and on public
    accommodations keeping people out based on a distinction without a
    difference,” said Lynch, a North Carolina native.

    McCrory disagrees that he’s refusing to carry out
    established civil rights law and said the courts should be the arbiter. He said
    Congress also should consider stepping in and make clear what sex
    discrimination means in the Civil Rights Act.

    “The Obama administration is bypassing Congress by attempting to rewrite the law and set
    basic restroom policies, locker room policies, and even shower policies for
    public and private employers across the country, not just North Carolina,”
    McCrory told reporters at the Executive Mansion just after he sued the Justice

    With McCrory preparing for a re-election campaign against
    Democrat Roy Cooper, his lawsuit wins him support from conservative Republicans
    who support the law but may be thinking twice about voting this fall with
    Donald Trump likely at the top of the ballot. Protracted litigation also could
    quiet public debate until after November. The cacophony has defined McCrory the
    past two months, hindering him in talking about a recovering economy he’s
    wanted to make the centerpiece of his campaign.

    “His message was so muddled,” said Mac McCorkle, a
    consultant for North Carolina’s past two Democratic governors, Mike Easley and
    Beverly Perdue. “Now he’s able to say, ‘Hey, I’m just fighting the good
    fight, the good conservative fight.'”

    His focus upon federal overreach stabilizes him politically
    for now but is unlikely to undo all the damage, McCorkle said. McCrory’s
    intervention in social issues also could risk him losing independent voters who
    helped elect him in 2012, when he was viewed as a moderate, pro-business

    “He’s in a tricky political situation running against
    the federal government,” said Thomas Keck, a political science professor
    at Syracuse University, who studies politics and the courts and has written about LGBT rights.
    “When you’re talking about public restrooms, that directly raises that
    historical analogy” to racial segregation, Keck added.

    Cooper, the state attorney general, opposes the law and said
    McCrory poured more fuel on the fire with litigation. McCrory’s “continued
    to make the situation worse every day,” said Jared Leopold with the
    Democratic Governors Association.

    Chris LaCivita, McCrory’s chief campaign consultant, said
    the debate over transgender people and restrooms doesn’t need the “over
    the top irresponsible rhetoric from someone in the position as the attorney
    general of the United States.” He said McCrory has been consistent in his
    defense of the law since signing it in March and in fighting federal government
    overreach. A Justice Department letter to McCrory demanding he stop enforcing
    the law opened the door for the governor to sue.

    LaCivita said Lynch’s legal challenge and last Friday’s
    Obama administration directive to public schools nationwide to let transgender
    students use bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity
    “reinforced and prove what the governor’s been saying all along.”

  14. Guess what. Let so how it goes.

    Equality Act H.R.3185 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)
    Introduced in House (07/23/2015)
    Latest Action: 09/08/2015 Referred to the Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice
    Equality Act
    Amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity among the prohibited categories of discrimination or segregation in places of public accommodation.
    • “sex” to include a sex stereotype, sexual orientation or gender identity, and pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition;
    • “sexual orientation” as homosexuality, heterosexuality, or bisexuality; and
    • “gender identity” as gender-related identity, appearance, mannerisms, or characteristics, regardless of the individual’s designated sex at birth.
    Expands the categories of public accommodations to include places or establishments that provide:
    • exhibitions, recreation, exercise, amusement, gatherings, or displays;
    • goods, services, or programs, including a store, a shopping center, an online retailer or service provider, a salon, a bank, a gas station, a food bank, a service or care center, a shelter, a travel agency, a funeral parlor, or a health care, accounting, or legal service; or
    • transportation services.
    Prohibits “establishment” from being construed to be limited to a physical facility or place.
    Authorizes the Department of Justice (DOJ) to bring a civil action if it receives a complaint from an individual who claims to be:
    • denied equal utilization of a public facility owned, operated, or managed by a state (other than public schools or colleges) on account of sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity; or
    • denied admission to, or not permitted to continue attending, a public college by reason of sexual orientation or gender identity, thereby expanding DOJ’s existing authority to bring such actions for complaints based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
    Revises public school desegregation standards to provide for the assignment of students without regard to sexual orientation or gender identity.
    Prohibits programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance from denying benefits to, or discriminating against, persons based on sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
    Prohibits employers with 15 or more employees from discriminating based on sexual orientation or gender identity, subject to the same exceptions and conditions that currently apply to unlawful employment practices based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Requires employers to recognize individuals in accordance with their gender identity if sex is a bona fide occupational qualification that is reasonably necessary to the normal operation of that particular business or enterprise.
    Provides government employees with protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
    Authorizes DOJ to intervene in equal protection actions in federal court on account of sexual orientation or gender identity.
    Requires protections against discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin to include protections against discrimination based on: (1) an association with another person who is a member of such a protected class; or (2) a perception or belief, even if inaccurate, that an individual is a member of such a protected class. Prohibits the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 from providing a claim, defense, or basis for challenging such protections.
    Prohibits an individual from being denied access to a shared facility, including a restroom, a locker room, and a dressing room, that is in accordance with the individual’s gender identity.
    Amends the Fair Housing Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, and jury selection standards to add sexual orientation and gender identity as classes protected against discrimination under such laws.

    • Do you know how to use links Bill. seriously! copy and paste the link in the browser Bar from the page you got all this information.

  15. Appears this all will soon be moot/resolved.

    Equality Act of 2015 H.R. 3185 and S. 1858. (currently now in committee review)
    Amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity among the prohibited categories of discrimination or segregation in places of public accommodation.

    • Maybe. Both bills need to be passed, reconciled (if there are any differences between what gets passed in the House and in the Senate), then signed by the President. Keep your eye on them…

  16. This will be determined. The Equality Act of 2015 H.R. 3185 and S. 1858 are currently in committee and will be passed. There is major support of these by both parties. These bills amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity among the prohibited categories of discrimination or segregation in places of public accommodation. They will be challenged in the US Supreme Court and we will see where this goes.

  17. Look I feel the reason Big Christians players are targeting BUsinesses city by city toforce small business to go christian. explaining that if they do they can pay there employyees less and have more control of their employees lives outside of working hours.

    You see it, it is fundamentally more extreme right, than religious. what people like the Koch brothers are saying is in their opinion of god, only certain rich people should hold the keys to any town. because they with their wealth are more experienced in what people need. That they themselves are somehow chosen to make these decisions.

    Can you not see why Gianforte likes and believes in this issue?

    If every business becomes christian then they will do as christian businesses tried to do with them paying for the pill on health coverage….. NOw it becomes gay opposition, and other religion opposition.

    their logos will be in the near future we only serve the faithful of our god.

    • Old Line Democrat | May 21, 2016 3:02 PM at 3:02 PM |

      I don’t disagree with all you’ve said Norma but I think there is a simpler view. These hard right wing fellows want to exploit fear and excite the religious voters to come out and vote for them even though the balance of their ideas actually work against the interests of the average religious or evangelical citizen. Add in some hope for Armageden to bring on the rapture and you have blind allegiance to the right wing manipulators. However, these religious right folks have gathered some power and now we see all the nutty anti-gay, anti-abortion, anti-secularism stuff that many states are passing in their Legislatures. The bigger danger lies in their attempt to control our courts. They’ve got one in McKinnon on the MT Supreme Court and they will spend like crazy to get more. The battle is one many levels. The Kochs have been at this since 1980. Just look at the Libertarian platform from 1980 when one of the Koch brothers was a VP candidate. They have slowly been making inroads since. It is most unsettling how all these supposed high principled church goers jump on the Trump bandwagon like folks with no memory beyond the last sermon or news cycle.

      It is time to be aware and beyond being amused.

  18. Norma, you are correct the battle begins between LGBT and Evangelicals over religious freedoms. But, also now the “I don’t know what you would label them” group that oppose the words of “Prohibits an individual from being denied access to a shared facility, including a restroom, a locker room, and a dressing room, that is in accordance with the individual’s gender identity.”

    Attorneys man your pens…………..

    • When do a large class of people claim their ‘religous rights’ trump the human rights of another class of people?
      When the large class are taught how to live to achieve
      personal resurrection!

      Live streaming (later a recording) from a Forum for voters with Jeff Essman, Nancy Keenan and Jim Elliott and more, tonight at 7 PM.

    • I see the crap as a selling point now with businesses. People who are frustrated, their dreams of opening a mom and pop shop not quite what they Imagined.

      A carpet bagging minister for business shows up one day and says, if the little guy helps the big guy the profits will trickle down. Sound familiar. Its another instance of what big oil does with fracking. right before it swallows a town of peace, clean water, clean air, right before the Hapless greed creates overcrowded schools, and a now defunct garbage and waste management system. Look at Sidney Montana, look at Willmington ND. those little towns were played. And officials stood by and did nothing because they were promised the sam Little businesses are being played for now…. money

      They are using the same tactics Oil giants used in Texas and California. In the forties and fifties. California got wize but almost the entire LA basin is under concret now because of this, and their water has to piped in……

      I am watching the same scenario hit Montana. the use of the oil shit handbook happening the same way it did in my childhood. It is divide and conquer. there are so many facets to any political party and the money makers just have to rile up a few factions within to create chaos.

      Look at the GOP as an example

      The Hard Right, Old Right, New Right, ultraconservatives, reactionaries, right-wing libertarians, neoconservatives, paleoconservatives, traditional conservative Right, the more aggressive Christian Right, and the xenophobic Right, The KKK, neonazis, Pariotic Militas etc., etc., etc.,

      While there is some ideological and membership overlap segments at the edges of these Factions that make up the republican party….. All one has to do( say a koch brother) when one has money, is propagandize one segment above another and the fight is on.

      A person like Trump was years in the making, the GOP played right into the very riches hands.

      We are seeing this with the Democrats now as well. Something the DNC didn’t expect and wasn’t ready for even though people like me told them it was happening.

      • The right to believe differently from the rich and the powerful is a
        prerequisite for free speech and a free press, the other two elements of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

  19. “A zeal for different opinions concerning religion, concerning government, and many other points, as well of speculation as of practice; an attachment to different leaders ambitiously contending for pre-eminence and power; or to persons of other descriptions whose fortunes have been interesting to the human passions, have, in turn, divided mankind into parties, inflamed them with mutual animosity, and rendered them much more disposed to vex ad oppress each other than to co-operate for their common good.”

    The above important sentence from James Madison, in Federalist Paper X, leads into his statement about the purpose of governmenT: to protect the people from the rich and powerful. Not ‘the rich’ also ‘the powerful’. The ‘rich and powerful’.
    The citizens disunited SCOTUS fraud has coupled with FED to subsidize both political parties to variously protect the ‘rich and powerful.’

  20. Well, the lawsuits are flying over the bathroom issue. Here is what I project will happened. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 will eventually remain unchanged. No sex discrimination and no reference to gender identification. Transgender will have to change their drivers licenses and/or birth certificates when they complete transformation.

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