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Committee Tables LGBT Rights Bill

Bill sought to extend civil rights protections to gays, lesbians and transgender people in Montana

By Tristan Scott

HELENA — A legislative committee has tabled a bill that sought to extend civil rights protections to gays, lesbians and transgender people across the state.

The House Judiciary Committee heard emotional testimony last week from citizens who said they’d been discriminated against due to their sexual orientation or sexual identity, while opponents said the bill infringed on their religious expression rights.

Lee Newspapers of Montana reports the Judiciary Committee voted 11-8 against the measure on Monday, likely killing the bill.

Republican Rep. Lola Sheldon-Galloway of Great Falls says discrimination based on sex is already illegal, so adding sexual orientation or sexual identity isn’t necessary.

House Minority Leader Jenny Eck of Helena argued people are facing discrimination and the language of the law as it stands does not protect them.

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