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Archive for Sunday, September 19, 2010

Montana official GOP policy: Make homosexuality illegal

September 19, 2010

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— At a time when gays have been gaining victories across the country, the Republican Party in Montana still wants to make homosexuality illegal.

The party adopted an official platform in June that keeps a long-held position in support of making homosexual acts illegal, a policy adopted after the Montana Supreme Court struck down such laws in 1997.

The fact that it’s still the official party policy more than 12 years later, despite a tidal shift in public attitudes since then and the party’s own pledge of support for individual freedoms, has exasperated some GOP members.

“I looked at that and said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me,’” state Sen. John Brueggeman, R-Polson, said last week. “Should it get taken out? Absolutely. Does anybody think we should be arresting homosexual people? If you take that stand, you really probably shouldn’t be in the Republican Party.”

Gay rights have been rapidly advancing nationwide since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Texas’ sodomy law in 2003’s Lawrence v. Texas decision. Gay marriage is now allowed in five states and Washington, D.C., a federal court recently ruled the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy unconstitutional, and even a conservative tea party group in Montana ousted its president over an anti-gay exchange in Facebook.

But going against the grain is the Montana GOP statement, which falls under the “Crime” section of the GOP platform. It states: “We support the clear will of the people of Montana expressed by legislation to keep homosexual acts illegal.”

Montana GOP executive director Bowen Greenwood said that has been the position of the party since the state Supreme Court struck down state laws criminalizing homosexuality in 1997 in the case of Gryczan v. Montana.

Nobody has ever taken the initiative to change it and so it’s remained in the party platform, Greenwood said. The matter has never even come up for discussion, he said.

“There had been at the time, and still is, a substantial portion of Republican legislators that believe it is more important for the Legislature to make the law instead of the Supreme Court,” Greenwood said.

Comments

Fred Whitehead Jr. 4 years, 3 months ago

In Montana?? How about most everywhere (like the Westboro "Baptist" Church) . Republicans have hijacked the Christian Church for years now and most of their "platform" is linked to the notion that "good" religion (where everybody reads their Bibles and agrees with them) is the key to "morality and decency". The party jurassic neanderthals have embraced the notion that gays are "just doing this to annoy "normal" people" and should be thrown in jail.The same attitude is shared by these people about blacks, hispanics and all other groups that are different from the white, Anglo-Saxon, straight people with short haircuts. Sadly, educating these jerks is impossible, for they also disdain people who are educated, culturally diverse, and literate. Most of the Republican Terrorist Party members problem with the current president is that he is "the black boy in the White House". Such prejudice and stupidity has been and will be with us always, unfortunately for the people of Montana, they seem to concentrate in areas where they can embrace their hatreds and bigotry with little opposition. Maybe we can get the Phelps clan to relocate there.

mr_right_wing 4 years, 3 months ago

Apparently you weren't quite ready to come off of your anti-anxiety medication frwent.

beatrice 4 years, 3 months ago

“I looked at that and said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me,’” state Sen. John Brueggeman, R-Polson, said last week. “Should it get taken out? Absolutely. Does anybody think we should be arresting homosexual people? If you take that stand, you really probably shouldn’t be in the Republican Party.”

In my opinion, Brueggeman's comments are the most important part of this story. We have come a long way in just a few short years, and seeing Republicans in office condeming the anti-gay rhetoric that was adopted only 13 years ago is a very good thing. Hopefully we can soon get past caring about personal and private relationships between consenting adults. Democrats are ahead of the curve on this, but plenty of Republicans are catching on.

Once we get past issues like prosecuting gays, we can take on important issues -- like where to build mosques, and how to act when the national anthem plays.

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