Posted By Eric Ethington (Author) on February 19, 2011
Montana – Yesterday, Teabagger Republican Representative Kristen Hansen introduced HB516, which would repeal all statewide or local ordinances which protect LGBT citizens in any way, shape or form. At the hearing for the bill, legislators refused to allow anyone opposed to the bill to be heard.
Unbelievable. At the legislative hearing, Republicans refused to allow anyone opposed to the measure to speak, even when the Democrats on the panel pointed out that the legislative rules clearly state that they must allow all citizens to voice their opinion.
The law would, in essence, restrict any state-wide or local governments from recognizing the rights of any people other than “state protected classes.”
On a related note.. earlier this week another teabag legislator in Montana introduced a bill which labels Global Warming as “beneficial” to the state. He admitted during an interview that he didn’t talk to any scientists before writing the bill, because global warming is a government scam.
Opponents of the measure came from across the state to testify. Unfortunately, the Republican majority on the committee attempted to limit testimony on both sides of the issue to ten minutes. Democrats on the committee objected and even presented rules that require the public be able to at least verbally state their opposition to the bill. The Republicans on the committee ignored the rules, and refused to let opponents of the bill testify.
In response to the GOP actions, Rep. Diane Sands (D-Missoula) took to reading the names of every opponent (all 50+) of the measure and asked them to stand and be acknowledged.
After the hearing, opponents of the measure held their own hearing, next to the statue of Rep. Jeannette Rankin, where they allowed all of the opponents of the measure speak and be heard. During this informal hearing, Sen. Carol Williams and other Democratic lawmakers showed up to show their frustrations with the treatment of these Montanans that simply wanted to be heard.
Let’s be clear on what happened today. Republicans decided there wasn’t enough time to listen to people who were possibly being stripped of their rights. However, since the beginning of the legislative session, the Republicans have given full and fair hearing to the following bills:
HB 384 – Which allows people to carry concealed weapons in bars, banks and churches.
And just to pour a little more salt in, here’s one of the people who WAS allowed to testify, even though he’s calling for the death of all gay people.