Montana Joins the List of States that Have Rejected Anti-Trans Discrimination

On June 30, it was announced that an anti-trans measure in Montana failed to collect enough signatures to appear on the ballot in November. This is the second time in recent months that those who oppose transgender equality have failed in their efforts to use the ballot to move their agenda forward in a state many think of as conservative.

The anti-trans initiative, I-183, was thought up by the Montana Family Foundation. It would have forced people to use the public accommodations, such as restrooms and locker rooms, that align with the gender listed on their original birth certificate. This law would have made public spaces, like schools, work places, and parks unsafe for transgender and non-binary Montanans. It also would have jeopardized all Montanans’ privacy — anyone entering a public space might have been forced to show paperwork proving their gender to anyone who asked.

The ACLU of Montana and other Montana organizations joined forces as part of the Free and Fair Montana coalition to oppose I-183. As a part of the effort, the ACLU challenged the language of the original petition in court. We were successful, causing the signature collection campaign to start over. Then we filed suit on behalf of transgender and non-binary residents of Montana saying that I-183 was unconstitutional.

But the success in Montana, as in Washington State and Anchorage, was ultimately made possible by the leadership of members of the transgender community, who stood up to fight against bad public policy. Through the Trans Visible Montana campaign, for example, transgender and non-binary Montanans were introduced to their neighbors and had the opportunity to explain the harmful impact a law like I-183 would have on the state.

The lessons from Washington State, Anchorage and Montana are clear. If we want to beat back anti-trans initiatives and legislation, the efforts have to be led by transgender people who can share their stories with voters.

And voters are clearly ready and willing to listen.

Our success in Montana is not the end of the story. In November, voters in Massachusetts will be asked to repeal a two-year-old state law that protects transgender people from non-discrimination in public accommodations, including bathrooms and locker rooms. The ACLU and the Freedom for All Massachusetts coalition are fighting for a “Yes” vote in Massachusetts to protect the nondiscrimination law. This coalition understands that our response must be to tackle myths head on and empower trans leaders and voices.

I'm proud of my home state for joining the growing list of states around the country that have rejected these kinds of attacks on transgender people. I believe that come November, Massachusetts voters will add their state to that list, too.

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Dr. Timothy Leary

They don't have any LGBT's in Montana. It is still an bastion of American manhood.

Anonymous

You just keep on keep believing that lmao

Goats McGee

"American manhood" only? No women?

That's pretty gay, dude.

Jessica

Dear Timmy, were everywhere!

Dr. Timothy Leary

Why do you call yourself "Goats McGee"? Are you one of those goat grabbers that are so prevalent in the Middle East ?

Trans and gay i...

Ohhh honey I have some bad news for you...

Jannet Duff

Bathroom bills are usless, its just away to try and control the lives of transgender people.
The instances they promote just just as easly happen in public elevators, however we do not see calls for gender specific elevators.

Jeanne Smith

Montana joins the list of states that have accepted the corporate medical edict to erase the female sex for fun and profit!

Anonymous

If you look at studies for gender identity globally. The uptake of transmasculin (f to m) is roughly equal to transfeminine (m to f) in more up-to-date studies. We don't hear cries of trying to wipe out male identity!! Or are they having a bite of the misogynistic cherry?!!! Trans / non binary people only want to live peaceful lives and pee in safety. Then get on with our day. Just like you.

Anonymous

I like how this idiot says they just want to pee in safety. As if using the correct bathroom is going to endanger them lmao

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