Residents show up early and prepared for council meeting Monday

2014-08-11T18:47:00Z 2014-08-12T11:52:07Z Residents show up early and prepared for council meeting MondayBy MIKE FERGUSON mferguson@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette

Supporters of the nondiscrimination ordinance were busy distributing donated pitas, chips and bottles of water to those waiting to testify Monday afternoon — proponents and opponents alike.

“We are offering food and water to anyone who looks like they might want it — or need it,” said NDO proponent Liz Welch, LGBT advocacy coordinator for the American Civil Liberties Union of Montana. “If we’re about dignity and fairness, we should also be about taking care of people.”

Courtney Nelson said proponents were there to support one another before and after testifying before the Billings City Council.

“It can be emotional, nasty — and long,” she said about an hour before Monday’s meeting began. “People can come in here (at the First Congregational United Church of Christ) and watch it on TV if they want.”

People began lining up outside council chambers at about 2:30 Monday afternoon for the 6:30 p.m. meeting. Six Billings police officers — including two lieutenants — were in council chambers to assure an orderly process.

It was easy to tell opponents from proponents as they waited for the NDO — the final item on Monday’s agenda — to be heard. Opponents generally dressed in white shirts, while proponents were decked out in orange T-shirts.

Copyright 2015 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

More from the Gazette

Legitimate questions and politics collide with welfare whistleblowers

Legitimate questions and politics collide with welfare whistleblowers

7 hours ago Photos

Photos

Loading…
Taxing and spending: How much money is coming in and how will it be spent

Taxing and spending: How much money is coming in and how will it be spent

18 hours ago Photos

Photos

Loading…

House committee advances income tax cut bills

January 23, 2015 6:15 pmLoading…
Plan would help small business pay for health insurance

Plan would help small business pay for health insurance

January 23, 2015 3:38 pmLoading…
Supporters rally as lawmakers weigh preschool plan

Supporters rally as lawmakers weigh preschool plan

January 23, 2015 1:23 pm Photos

Photos

Loading…
Lawmaker seeks to up penalty for abuse of pregnant women

Lawmaker seeks to up penalty for abuse of pregnant women

January 23, 2015 12:35 pmLoading…
Microbrewers, Tavern Association compromise on brewery, license bill

Microbrewers, Tavern Association compromise on brewery, license bill

January 23, 2015 9:55 amLoading…
Lawmaker wants to raise gas tax by 5 cents a gallon

Lawmaker wants to raise gas tax by 5 cents a gallon

January 22, 2015 7:30 pmLoading…

Senate OKs bill on how top political cop is picked

January 22, 2015 7:15 pmLoading…

Senate OKs bills to put electronics in privacy laws

January 22, 2015 6:45 pmLoading…
Restricted driver’s license bill turned down

Restricted driver’s license bill turned down

January 22, 2015 3:49 pmLoading…
Ohio governor talks about Medicaid expansion, federal budget

Ohio governor talks about Medicaid expansion, federal budget

January 21, 2015 8:45 pmLoading…
GOP bill: Hire outside vendor to check for welfare fraud

GOP bill: Hire outside vendor to check for welfare fraud

January 21, 2015 8:30 pmLoading…
Bill would end governor's power to appoint U.S. senators

Bill would end governor's power to appoint U.S. senators

January 21, 2015 4:33 pmLoading…
Restricted-use driver license bill advances

Restricted-use driver license bill advances

January 21, 2015 4:24 pmLoading…
Montana’s congressional delegation reacts to Obama's speech

Montana’s congressional delegation reacts to Obama's speech

January 20, 2015 7:32 pm Photos

Photos

Loading…

Follow The Billings Gazette

#mtleg

Get weekly ads via e-mail

Featured Businesses