Monday, February 21, 2005

Sometimes, I hate this country. Part Two.

I take back every thing I said about their shitty state.

Montana House Dumps Bill to Protect Gays

Mon Feb 21, 5:10 PM ET
U.S. National - AP

HELENA, Mont. - The Montana House on Monday killed a bill that would have extended the state's hate crimes law to protect gays.

The bill would have made it a crime to target people based such factors as age, economic condition, disability, gender or sexual orientation. It was rejected 54-46.

State law already outlaws intimidating or harassing someone because of race, religion, color, creed or national origin. Offenses carry a minimum two-year prison term.

Debate focused mainly on whether the law should cover crimes against gays and lesbians.

Republicans, who accounted for all but five of the opponents, warned the bill would stifle free speech and could prevent clergy from speaking out against homosexuality in their sermons.

Supporters said the bill aimed to protect people who could be targeted because they belonged to a certain group.

Similar bills have failed in each of the six preceding legislative sessions.

A similar bill in the state Senate has been stalled in committee since January.


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