Sending An Anti-Gay "Message" -- Nice Going, Gentlemen

Most of you probably know that I’m a pretty conservative person of the “let’s all mind our own business” type. I find it hard to align myself with many liberal causes, and my reaction to many perceived anti-gay “outrages” is to privately disagree that the “outrage” in question is really as outrageous as it is deemed. (As a straight person, however, I realize that my POV is unlikely to be the same as that of a gay person, on any issue.)

But I’m all for common sense and for refraining from intentionally and gratuitously excluding or insulting any of your neighbors, so it is with great consternation that I report the following:

Montana has on its books a statute that specifically criminalizes homosexual sex, consensual or not. (It also criminalizes heterosexual sodomy and oral sex, but homosexual contact of any type is specifically prohibited.) Ironically, Montana also has one of the (if not the) most expansive constitutional rights to privacy in all of the United States – which accords perfectly with the general Montana attitude of “you mind your own business and I’ll mind mine.”

In 1997, several homosexual couples challenged the Montana anti-gay statute (and its chief purpose, to criminalize homosexual sex, means that it is inarguably anti-gay) on the specific grounds that it violated the plaintiffs’ right to privacy under the Montana constitution. A district court judge struck the statute down, finding that it is manifestly unconstitutional. This was appealed to the Montana Supreme Court. The Court unanimously – that’s all of them, conservative and liberal – held that the district court was correct – that Montana’s constitutional protection of the right to privacy meant that consensual sex between adults could not be criminalized. WTG, Supremes.

Fast forward to this legistlative session, where the legislative counsel makes the extremely routine request that the statute in question be removed from the books, since it has been found unconstitutional and therefore having zero legal force or effect. The House Judiciary Committee, after acrimonious debate, has voted 17 to 3 NOT to remove the statute from the books. Unless the matter is revived by a majority vote of the entire House – highly unlikely – this routine “housekeeping” measure is dead and the statute in question will continue to be printed in the statutory codes of the state of Montana.

Why? Because it “sends a message” that “deviant” conduct will “not be tolerated by the people of Montana.” It prevents prison rape (!) (as if consensual homosexual sex equates in any way to rape of any kind, and as if a prison rapist would be deterred by the existence of a meaningless statutory provision). It prevents we innocent straight folk from being “propositioned” by those wanton nymphomaniacal homos (and Lord knows that’s a real problem).

Y’know, I agree that it “sends a message.” It sends a message of clear hostility to people different than the rest of us – a message rendered doubly hostile by being so impotent and toothless. (“We may not be able to stop you, but we want to make it clear we still don’t like you.”) It’s a message of divisiveness, intolerance, and exclusion. (Not to mention the secondary problem, for someone as fastidious as I, that the statutory code is not a forum for the sending of messages of any type.) You don’t have to worry about whether our state is intolerant of you, gay people! No, we’ll spell it right out for you, and refuse to back down from an untenable position even when it is manifestly ridiculous to continue to cling to it.

Nicely done, gentlemen. I’m ashamed of you and deeply ashamed that you represent me.

Has any straight couple challenged it? That might help.

No, EVE, that wouldn’t help. In fact, one of the couples challenging the law in '97 was straight. The point is that the law has ALREADY been struck down – legally it does not exist – but the legislature wants to keep it on the books anyway because it “sends a message.” Yeah, it sends the message “we’re a bunch of homophobic assholes.”

This is going to sound silly.

When The Hunt for Red October came out, I was rather young. It left a big impression on me- I remember the one guy whose dying words were “I would have liked to see Montana.” So for years, for whatever reason, I wanted to live in Montana.

Then I figured, generally speaking, that it’s better for the gay people to stick to the sides of the country.

That’s a real shame, Jodi. Empty hate language that’s even more empty than usual.


My sincerest condolences to you and your state, Jodi.


Hey Jodi, hey Eve
I don’t even know what I have to say. I poked my lil pointy head in here and saw the subject and felt compelled to respond, since these doorjambs also ‘represent’ me and they’re only a 100 miles away or so, and stupidity is catchy-I firmly believe that.

First- Thanks Jodi, for enlightening me- my media exposure mainly consists of the news categories I’ve chosen to put on my yahoo! home page. (god i suck.) And a Daily Chronicle now and then.

Second, re-reading this before I post it- I should have a cast of characters here- Jodi’ll know 'em, but you others won’t.

The Insufficient Record- Daily newspaper of Montanas capital city

Daily Chronicle- Daily rag of Bozeman MT

Judy Martz- (WAUGH HAGH HUH um HMM hmmm- sorry, kinda choked up there a minute)‘honorable’ gov of MT

Roscot (say ROSko, all you little happy people…), Former gov of same

Bushyhead- this one vegetative matter-headed manipulative prez of the yew esss uv aaaaya

Useta print the Insufficient Record- no way I’ll read that rag anymore. But I’m saying I never would have found this out if not for this thread. Newspapers damn sure ain’t gonna print something like that- they’re pretty good at making themselves seem liberal and even-handed, but they’re not, not by a long shot.

Oh yeh- I listen to Bozo and Billings pub radio, but in streaks, which results in large knowledge gaps.

Boy howdy, I’m wanderin great so far, ain’t I?! :smiley:

I guess I mostly wanted to say I’m not suprised. Here’s my take on it-
I don’t exempt myself from the statements I’m fixin to make here- I ain’t any different from anyone else, basically. Well, except my particular mental quirks are severe enough to warrant medication…

People aren’t as smart as they think they are- they are much more emotionally reactionary than they would like to admit, for the most part. One of the things this results in is mindless conservatism.

Conservatism per se isn’t such a bad thing, when balanced with a judicious amount of liberalism, and a liberal amount of judiciousness. We all get in the mindless mode now and then, and many of us are lucky enough to get back to some semblance of reason now and then also. [sub]I’m not necessarily talking about myself here- I’ve seen reason, I don’t know that I’ve ever embodied it…[/sub]

The idiots of whom you speak are in the mindless mode.

What makes it worse is that they think they have some kind of gd mandate, or at least, like bushyhead, (lotsa space in there to let the air and sunshine in, to help the vegetative matter grrroooowww and blossom), they’re trying to make the peepul think they do.

I don’t know how you feel Jodi, but I’d happily braid Judy Martz’s tits. Nice, tight french braid. People like her, ugh…Her and others of her ilk- Roscot(sp) among them, remind me of that political candidate in that one Stephen King story- the one the guy who had selective extra-sensory ability felt he had to kill? Cause the guy was all shiny-happy conformity mr straight-values pants up front, but in reality, he was the end of the world if he got to power. You know the story I’m talking about?

Fuck, I ain’t going anywhere with this.

I’m disgusted, not suprised, at your information.

I am also enheartened though- I was reading something not too long ago that essentially said ‘yeah, this stuff happens. But we’re way more attitudinally loosened than we were 30 years ago, 20 years ago, even 10 years ago. And it’s happened through peoples efforts in the face of monolithic inertia, little tiny tiny victories here and there.’

So, I try to work on my own narrow mindednesses and increasingly gently, (and increasingly rarely), work on others’ also.

Jodi, you’ve got the background – lawyer, prosecutor, etc. Wanna run for the Legislature? I’m sure that the legions of folks here on the MB who think highly of you would help finance the campaign.

C’mon: Montanans Against Ignorance Now (MAIN). Betcha you could get even a lot of conservative voters who know how dumb it is to have a useless law on the books.

Jodi! Jodi! Jodi!

INOR, I hate to interrupt your opinions of me with a few facts, but hey –

The Helena paper is The Independent Record and it is, I must admit, not much of a paper. But this particular issue was on page A2 (inside of front page) of today’s edition. Judy Martz is our current governor; Marc Racicot (pronounced "Roscoe) is the governor who just left office. Both are Republicans, Martz having served as Lt. Gov. during the last four years of Racicot’s administration.

I am a Republican, registered and proud of it, though I admit I’m pretty far left on the Republican spectrum out here. But as a Republican, I supported Racicot and I support Martz. (I’m a little more equivocal on Bush, who of course has nothing to do with this issue anyway.)

Martz had absolutely nothing to do with this decision, made by a committee in the legislature. Racicot had less than nothing to do with it. I’m not sure of the political makeup of the committee in question, but with a vote of 17 to 3 against removing the statute, I seriously doubt all 17 were Republicans.

Ignorance is not limited to one end of the political spectrum.

MANNY – Your faith in my is touching, but I feel I must point out that I am not and have never been a prosecutor. (I think I might have liked to have been, but life didn’t unfold that way.) Although I’m not contemplating a run for office at the present time (understatement), I will gladly accept cash contributions for the beer fund – ah, I mean war chest. All moneys will be wisely spent. Trust me. :slight_smile:

I sure am glad that I come from the progressive state of Kentucky, where our legislature removed the portion of the State Constitution that required segreated schools. :slight_smile:

In 1998. :mad:

Hell, you sound like a politician already!

As for the OP, it’s also very likely that the same folks who voted to keep an unenforcable statute on the books will be the same ones moaning about ‘disrespect for the law’.

Sorry- I wasn’t stating my opinions of you- I was stating my opinions of what you said.
And I admit I am ignorant in this area and did not mean to imply that those worthies had anyting to do with this decision. I was jsut stating my opinions on same in general.
I don’t care that you’re a republican, especially that you’re on the left of that spectrum- I tried to say as much up there with my liberal/conservative/judicousness comments, pretty much so you would know I wasn’t taking exception with you. That I thought that that was a good thing. I wasn’t clear enough- I apologize.

I know it’s The Independent Record- I said I printed it, for Spocks’ sake- Insufficient Record is what we in the know who hadda proofread it every night as it was coming off the press and therefore were in an excellent position to notice it’s shortcomings, called it.
Touche on the fact that they reported it though…



I know this, but I felt intellectual honesty required me to advise you of exactly where I’m at, ideologically, and while I fully respect your right to take shots at politicians you don’t agree with, I felt my silence might be taken for agreement, so I thought I’d better speak up.

I know this. I was not personally offended by anything you said. No apology necessary, except from me since I apparently made you think you’d got my back up, which you hadn’t.

I know YOU know it’s the “Independent Record” – others might not. We’ve always called it the “Independent Rag.”

It’s all good. Sorry I led you to think that it wasn’t. (It’s all good except for those idiots in the legislature, that is.)

k, so I guess basically, we’re both saying ‘those one guys are dinks’
Thank you ma’am
I kinda thought I knew where you were idiologically, ergo my cloudy prefaces.
And yeah- good idea to state you didn’t necessarily agree with my ideation.
I’m just gonna shut the heck up now- like you sed- all good…
Thanks for clarifying though- I didn’t like thinking we were on the fight again so soon :wink:


You and I don’t see eye to eye on a lot of issues but prehaps now you understand the rage I feel at anti-gay inititives.

Do you know several other states have similar laws on their books? Here in Texas, the sodomy statue has been declared unconstitutional on two occasions. On both occasions, the legislation put it back on the books. Right now, an appeal by the state of Texas is pending before an en banque meeting of the state district court to detirmine the fate of the law.

What’s even worse, back in '86, the US Supreme Court ruled in Bowers v. Hardwick that homosexuals don’t have the same right of privacy under the 4th amendment as heterosexuals do.

Consider this Republican Montanan a member of MAIN. I am thoroughly angered by that law, even if it is ineffective. I want to help remove the image people have of Montana being a state full of hicks. Wyoming might be, but Montana isn’t :D. The fact that an ineffective law remains on the books is a testament to how stupid the Theocrats (religious idiots in government) are, here and everywhere. I’m against the law against blowjobs as well, just so you all know.

:: Dreams up a test case to challenge the anti-hummer legislation. :smiley: ::

Sweet God, I thank You for Derleth and others of his/her ilk.
I have never, God, laughed so hard so many times as I have in the last week or so.
But God? I am not eating so good lately. Could you maybe strike my monitor blind every now and then? But not too often or long? Just enough to eat, pay the bills, feed/water the cats and dogs, play with and walk said dogs? And go to the bathroom before I hurt myself, a possibility that is increasing in direct proportion to the number of this type of post that I read? The washer and dryer are right next to my monitor, so I don’t need down time to do laundry.
Thank You God.

…but, sweet Jesus, some of the most beautiful mountains on God’s green earth are in Montana. When I die, scatter my ashes along the Highline Trail in Glacier National Park, preferably as near as possible to the place where - miracle of miracles - I found myself in the middle of a grazing flock of bighorn sheep.

The world’s full of ignorant and vindictive people; it’s not just a Montanan specialty. There’s plenty of it in Maryland, where I’m living now, and in Virginia, where I’ve spent most of my life, and is still the state I consider home.

Jodi, it stinks that so many of your state legislators have their heads up their asses. But we all know that that’s a common failing among state legislators, coast to coast.

andygirl, don’t let this particular bit of stupidity keep you from seeing Montana. Even if Jim Clancy wrote those words, they’re still true. :slight_smile:

Not to make to big an issue of it, but why would a “gay” person’s POV be any different than yours, mine, or anyones because they were gay?


Yes, but AFAIK, Montana is the only state to have such a law STRUCK DOWN and then STILL refuse to remove it from the books.

This is slightly differenet, I believe, in that Texas is attempting to restructure its law to have the same effect as the old (unconsitutional) law, while avoiding the problems with constitutionality. (How they imagine they’ll ever do that, I don’t know.) Montana is not attempting to redraft and pass a new law to substitute for the old; it is refusing to take the old one off the books, even though it is not patently meaningless. Which is the worse situation, Montana or Texas, you’ll have to decide.

Actually, Bowers did not hold that homosexuals do not have the same right to privacy as heterosexuals; it held that homosexuals do not have a constitutional right to commit sodomy. The U.S. Supreme Court has never held that heterosexuals have that right, either, because they have never ruled on that issue either way.

RTFIREFLY – Yes, Montana is a wonderful place to live; that’s why I’m still here. And, yes, the legislators have thier collective head up their collective ass on this one.


Because they have a vested interest in certain issues that I, as a straight person, do not. Just as I, as a woman, may feel more strongly about women’s issues than a man might.