Helena Ordinance Passes Unanimously: Harmful Amendment Remains in Final Language From Kim Abbott, Program Director, Montana Human Rights Network

The first thing we want to say is that we don't leave members of our community behind, so our work in Helena isn't done. Last night, close to 200 supporters of the Helena Non-Discrimination Ordinance showed up and spoke out for dignity, fairness, and security. The Helena Non-Discrimination Ordinance passed unanimously (5-0). As it stands after last night's vote, our entire community is protected in housing, employment, and some public accommodations. This is a step forward for Helena, but, unfortunately, four members of the commission refused to fix a provision that allows trans people to be denied access to locker rooms and changing rooms.

For over a year, members and supporters told their stories, wrote to the commission, testified, and volunteered hundreds and hundreds of hours moving this policy forward. We did move a non-discrimination ordinance forward, and we should be proud of the work that we accomplished together, including when it came to dealing with what proved to be a difficult legislative body. But we don't leave members of our community behind. That means we have work to do! Our base of support has been resilient, committed, and engaged, and we know that working together we can fix the public accommodations provision and ensure that our entire community is protected.

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Marilyn will be at the Helena City Commission tonight, December 17th, for the Final Public Hearing. Helena City Commission Meeting Monday, December 17th | 6:00 pm City-County Building 316 North Park Avenue, 3rd floor, for the public hearing on the nondiscrimination ordinance. Join her at 6:00 at the City County Building, 3rd floor.