The Billings Gazette asked about the Billings City Council's decision on the non-discrimination ordinance. Here's a selection of responses.
Terri Franco wrote: "Some times we need to stand alone to make a statement and not cave into peer pressure. May you all find peace."
Derek Swenson said, "I'm ashamed to live in a city that tolerates discrimination of any kind. Replace the word gay with fat, Catholic or female. Is it OK then?"
Dave Alan Kohler wrote, "They did the right thing even though it was the political hard thing to do. I am happy they upheld he constitution and protected Billings."
Daron Frank said, "This is just not acceptable. I still believe that we have a better community than this! It's actually sad to see this had to go to a vote, and then this...We ALL have people in our lives that we care about that are discriminated against. It's time to make a change people."
JD Kober said, "Trying to pass an ordinance to control what people think is as silly as passing an ordinance outlawing tornados. If we wish to control people's minds, the city council probably is not best place to do it."
Chantelle Lucienne Biscoe said, "Oh my goodness! Some of these comments are ridiculous. A 'law' will not and never has changed the outcome of a person's heart. Are there laws against drunk driving? How many DUIs are issued, vehicles crashed and people killed in a year even with several laws to prevent that from happening? Billings doesn't need an NDO, Billings needs to start focusing on important things. I grew up with the phrase 'You. Don't bug. You. Don't be bugged.' People, be nice. To everyone. NDO supporters, you be nice too. To everyone. (PS -- Being nice does not include forcing someone to do something against their beliefs.)
Julie Hrubes said, "I can't wait till this hits national news. This could cost Hanel his position as mayor. Are we so backwards in Billings, MT that we can't handle basic civil rights? There was actually concern over not being able to discriminate on bathroom and locker room use? Really...you know we used to have to have separate bathrooms and locker rooms for African Americans, too ... I'm sure Billings was into that too. Ugh......"
Penny Conner said, "I'm not a resident of Billings, but was so saddened when I heard this news. As a parent, you are hopeful that the world will become a more accepting place in which to live. This is tragic beyond measure and the parents of those in the Billings gay community must truly be repulsed by this decision. Have these leaders learned nothing from the past?"
Ceci Winter Bentler said, "So the logic is that laws like prohibiting discrimination for gender, race, color, creed and religion shouldn't exist either?"
Dan Snedigar said, "While the failure of the NDO to pass probably isn't really going to change a lot on the ground, it absolutely telegraphs the fact that Billings isn't willing to recognize that it's an increasingly mature city. As long as the town continues to wallow in the worst of its redneck tendencies, do you really think it's going to attract any truly sustainable economic growth when prospective businesses that utilize or appeal to the creative class can very easily choose another nearby city that more accurately reflects the American majority's opinions about inclusiveness."
Richard Ellwyn Hogenson said, "Move to Bozeman or another city that has the NDO."
Jennifer Kirchhevel said, "So proud of the decision by the council to vote against NDO!"
Keith Simonsen said, "When Mayor Tom Hanel says Billings is 'not ready' for an NDO, that's a strong indicator that anti-gay bias is present in the community and an NDO policy is needed."