Non-Discrimination Ordinance Fails in Billings, Montana
August 12, 2014 by Hope Errico Wisneski, Regional Field Director
On Monday night, after months of consideration, the Billings City Council failed to pass a non-discrimination ordinance to protect its LGBT residents and visitors from arbitrary discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations.
Public testimony ended at 2 a.m., followed by an impassioned hour-long debate by the city councilors. The City Council was deadlocked until Mayor Tom Hanel cast the decisive vote to defeat the measure.
HRC joined Pride Foundation, ACLU of Montana, Not in Our Town Billings and Montana Human Rights Network to mobilize the residents of Billings, local businesses and community leaders to stand up for fairness, security and dignity in Billings, the largest city in Montana. Billings failed to join four other cities in Montana, most recently Bozeman, with inclusive non-discrimination ordinances. Visit HRC’s Municipal Equality Index page to learn more about HRC's work to protect LGBT people in cities in towns.
Currently, over 200 cities and counties in nationwide have non-discrimation ordiances. While Billings might have failed to act, dozens of cities have recently passed new non-discrimination ordinances, including Houston, Atlantic Beach and Danville.
HRC is committed to continued work in Billings and across Montana until equality prevails.
Above: Hope Wisneski testifying.
Above: Supporters in line to testify.
Above: U.S. Senator Tester's Chief of Staff Tom Lopach and Hope Wisneski.
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