Montana’s Largest Newspaper Features Powerful Editorials Against Proposed Anti-Transgender InitiativeBy Adam Polaski • August 7, 2017 • 7:05 pm
This weekend the largest newspaper in Montana, The Billings Gazette, published two editorials against an anti-transgender proposal that would single out transgender people for discrimination.
Anti-LGBTQ activists in Montana are gathering signatures for a proposed ballot initiative, Initiative 183, that would restrict restroom access for transgender Montanans.
The editorial board at The Billings Gazette pointed out all of the terrible consequences this initiative would have on the state, asking readers:
“Would you sign a petition for a law to:
- Create a new reason to sue Montana and local governments (read taxpayers)?
- Cause Montana to lose federal educational funding while increasing costs for schools, cities, counties and state government to comply?
- Effect every school and government building throughout the state?
- Restrict the power of Montana charter cities and counties?
- Discriminate against people because of their sexual identity?
- Put Montana on a blacklist like North Carolina was, so major companies, sports organizations and conventions would boycott us based on our discriminatory state law? The North Carolina bathroom bill cost that state $3.7 billion, according to an estimate calculated by the Associated Press earlier this year.”
A separate editorial in the paper written by Kimberly Norris-Scrano also ran on Sunday. In the piece, Kimberly explains how anti-transgender restroom restrictions like I-183 would also endanger disabled Montanans. She writes:
“Before signing your name to support the ballot initiative to restrict bathroom/locker room use to one’s assigned gender at birth, consider that 20 percent of Americans have disabilities. I urge you to not further disable individuals with disabilities from participating inclusively in their communities. This is not simply an issue for the transgender population; this is an issue that affects us all.”