HELENA — The Montana House is moving forward with a measure that would repeal an obsolete state law that criminalizes gay sex, despite a committee's decision to table it.

Rep. Bryce Bennett, D-Missoula, made the motion Monday to take Senate Bill 107 out of the House Judiciary Committee and place it on the agenda for a House vote. Bennett, who is gay, said the law emphasizes inequality and pointed to the 1997 Montana Supreme Court case that ruled the language criminalizing gay sex was unconstitutional.

"Under this law, I am considered a felon," Bennett said. "I am not your equal."

Bennett said that even though he won't be prosecuted, he still feels the law's "sting" and resents that Montana law classifies gay sex as sexual deviance, on par with bestiality.

The bill received the necessary 60 votes when minority Democrats were joined by 21 Republicans, who say the measure is about privacy for all Montanans. Two years ago, a similar measure died in the Republican-controlled House after receiving the Senate's approval.

Since then, the Republican Party has removed from its platform language that seeks to make homosexual acts illegal, and some Republicans, like the bill's co-sponsor, Rep. Nicholas Schwaderer of Missoula, have voiced their support of the measure.

Some Republicans still oppose the measure, warning that legalizing gay sex would lead to societal degradation and gay sex being taught in schools' sex education classes.

Rep. Krayton Kerns, R-Laurel, said the House was hypocritical by opening each session with a prayer and blatantly disregarding the Bible.

"If we abandon our moral compass, we will lose our country," Kerns said. "It's as simple as that."

Opponents of the bill also argue that the law allows for the prosecution of child molesters — a point on which the bill's backers vehemently disagree. The bill's backers say child molestation cases are prosecuted under a stricter code called Jessica's Law.

The measure will need the House's endorsement before it can reach Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock's desk.

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(53) comments

BobN

So, is AP incapable of REPORTING the nay votes? "Some Republicans"? How about "most Republicans".

The GOP's attitude towards gay people is appalling. No reason for AP to put lipstick on that pig*.

* Putting lipstick on a pig, in Montana, is perfectly legal, of course.

Demiurge
Demiurge

And here we thought the Republicans were the party of less government. What a hoot!

sagebush

Bennett- Gay sex should be a crime and if your a practicing gay, than you should be prosecuted. Montanan's do not take kindly to your perverted behavior, nor child molesters, nor your people that are into beastiality. Seems like you democrats have an unusual amount of perverted members in your ranks.

true conservative

Dr. Ben Carson made a similar inference and apologized. Too bad you won't follow his lead.

Atheist Educator
Atheist Educator

He won't tell us how he really feels lest his comment be removed like so many others of his have been in the past.

fretwalker
fretwalker

Thousands of gays killed by the nazis---

"We support a national law against the practice of homosexuality."---In kkk platform

Known by the company you keep, dude.

--Tell us what Hitler, the kkk, and you are afraid of, sir.

true conservative

If you think gay sex should be a crime and the supreme court has said that violates the Montana constitution then change the constitution. If you can't then follow the law. I feel exactly the same about gun legislation if it violates the constitution (as ruled by the supreme court and not just an individual's opinion) then the recourse is to change the constitution.

jubjubs

Sagebush. Do not speak on behalf of all Montana's. I'm sorry you're so full of hate. But it will die with you.

Concerned Montana Patriot

Its funny that in general , seems the folks that are most vocal against something are struggling internally with the same issue ! That sagebrush your hiding behind doesn't completely cover you up ! Are you Mr Howard?.. can't quite see all of you, but the noise yer makin sure sounds like him !

Sarah Baracuda
Sarah Baracuda

Such a sobbering sight to see that a majority of Montana Republicans are filled with so much hate and discontent towards homosexuals and lesbians. They want to make them criminals? What is next, gulags? Mr. Kerns thinking patterns is on par of that with Adolph Hitler. His langauge suggest genocide.

Jus Wundrin
Jus Wundrin

One day soon you will wake up and be shocked and surprised upon seeing who the people are that are wearing the brown shirts.

Sarah Baracuda
Sarah Baracuda

You are going to have to elaborate more on the "brown shirt" diatribe. Mr. Kerns is insinuating that homosexuals and lesbians are not part of God's plan. That is as close to Hitler's thinking patterns as you can get. He is using the bible to try to promote government policies. What he is doing is unconstitutional and frightening.

What is your thoughts on same-sex marriage JUS? Are you gor or against it? What about inter-racial marriage?

NKV
NKV

I wish you were correct about the left, typically less evangelical than the right, having fewer fascists. But I have read/seen/heard so much fascist rhetoric (Michael Moore, the most egregious example) from the left, I have lost all respect. I don't believe people who tell me they are good, better than the bad, and should be trusted with power.

Sarah Baracuda
Sarah Baracuda

Michael Moorer has not called for the out-right slaughter of homosexuals and lesbians as evangelicals pastors have. Moorer may be an idiot at times, but his approach is not that of gerrymandering and redistricting of a certain population of people as the far-right has done.

Jus Wundrin
Jus Wundrin

Your comment speaks volumes about that SB. Was there any indication that kerns wants to round these folks up and put them into kamps? Thats just assumptive on your part and therefore he is called a "hater".

The inquisitive tone of your last sentence is also indicative to my comment. I think Ive made myself very clear on the issue and will never change my position. In saying that, what should be done with me? I dont hate those engaged in sinful activities, if I did I would have to hate myself. But I am called a hater and other things for it.

To the point. Progressives wanted hate crime legislation, and we have it, but what is it? Progressives want to regulate every aspect of our lives, and we are getting there (See NYC). We have a educational conference called "white privilege" created by progressives to basically to make white folks feel bad about themselves. Look it up. All in the name of human rights.........

Jus Wundrin
Jus Wundrin

.....cont.

We already have re-education kamps in the form of mandatory sensitivity training....dont attend, lose your job. The growing thought now is to despise Christians and Christianity, especially those of the white persuasion. Yes, there are the religious idiots, and you do have that evil westboro bunch, but they still have the right to speak as anyone else. There is more, but space is limited.

Im not going to even respond to your attempt at moral equivalency on inter-racial marriage because it isnt the same. Save it for the belittlement of HS kids to get them back in line with progressive thought......that too is indicative to my comment.

It just needs to be pushed to the next level, and it will. Its human nature and its historic......It will be called social justice.

Ceithern

Mr. Kerns is not insinuating anything; he is stating what the bible reads.

I’ll assume you misspoke there about Hitler and God, consider the following example: Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Minister of Propaganda, noted: "The Fuhrer is deeply religous, though completely anti-Christian. He views Christianity as a symptom of decay. Rightly so. It is a branch of the Jewish race... Both [Judaism and Christianity] have no point of contact to the animal element, and thus, in the end, they will be destroyed." (http://constitutionalistnc.tripod.com/hitler-leftist/id2.html)

Regarding gay marriage, here are some better questions: could a dad marry his son, could a man have three consenting wives? No, and no, it is against the law…why? Why are incest and polygamy unlawful? If marriage is a ‘civil right’, why is this right not extended to ALL who want to marry who or whatever they like?

Sarah Baracuda
Sarah Baracuda

Ok, so you are against same-sex marriage but have no opinion on inter-racial marriage. To this though, I am concerned that Republicans want to make up a law to criminalize ones sexual activity between two consenting adults. Constitutionally, you have no basis or legal standing. Republicans have suggested that their "freedoms are being taken away" regarding same-sex marriage. How so?

I am taken aback that you are playing the race card in a religious conotation. But I have discussed this with LAUGHTER and the RIGHT DOG regarding whites wanting to be separate from blacks when worshipping the lord. As you know (and GUARDIAN ANGEL will back me on this), that blacks heavily relied on Christianity during the Jim Crow, Civil Rights Era and much through slavery to keep their sanity. Growing up in Billings, I never seen blacks worship with us at our church. If you study history of religion in America, whites purposely wanted to worship separately from blacks. - Con't

Sarah Baracuda
Sarah Baracuda

CON'T - So, we created that atmosphere. I have no white guilt myself. I am proud of my background and proud ot be an AMERICAN and NATIVE MONTANAN! As I have told LAUGHTER and RIGHT DOG, blacks, latino's and whites still to this day, worship separately. But look at it in this text, JUS WUNDRIN. Whites stated that w/o the help of the Lord, this great nation would've never been born and built. Blacks state that w/o the help of the Lord, they would not have survived the evils of slavery, rapes and genocide from whites over the past several hundred years. Ironic to look at it that way.

NKV
NKV

Sadly, I am no longer ever surprised by who gladly puts on the jackboots. The left has just as many as the right. And the problem isn't "hate". Hate is just an emotion (and the left has just as much of that as the right, too). It is the belief that the government should legislate private life, beyond stopping force or fraud, that is the problem.

Sarah Baracuda
Sarah Baracuda

I would have to disagree with left having just as many on the right. What I see from the left is more of a human rights issue. The far-right sees it as a evaneglical issue and that is how they frame very debate regarding economics and everyday living.

fretwalker
fretwalker

Please tell me if I misunderstand you JW--- But, thousands of homosexuals were killed in the "brown shirts" reign--- Hitler sent them to their death, It's now widely accepted that Hitler was homosexual. Makes one wonder about some of the loudest hate-mongering homophobes today.Why are they overly concerned with gay-sex? What are they afraid of?

Jus Wundrin
Jus Wundrin

Might want to rethink that fret:

http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/fischer/080515
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sturmabteilung
http://www.thepinkswastika.com/5294/index.html

Its a mixed bag for gays in communism:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communism_and_homosexuality

But history is ripe with Christian persecution:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persecution_of_Christians

It will happen again.

fretwalker
fretwalker

Jus Wundrin "-Might want to rethink that"?-----I have no idea what the point is supposed to be-"-Homosexual roots of the nazi party"?

Demiurge
Demiurge

From real intolerance of gays to imagined persecution of Christians.

MT4th Generation

Wow. I don't know how antiquated views are made to sound logical to others. The bigger question is this: If government is given the power to legalize or criminalize private, sexual practices of others, this presidence may indicate you and your private sexual practices could be next.

Jus Wundrin
Jus Wundrin

Might as well get a jump on things and decriminalize the other laws pertaining to the sexual activities that other folks participate in. Fair is fair, and sooner or later they will demand it anyway.

fretwalker
fretwalker

Doesn't matter how many times you repeat it's still ignorance, as an excuse for bigotry.

Jus Wundrin
Jus Wundrin

No ignorance or bigotry needed. Im just pointing out human nature.

Demiurge
Demiurge

No Jus, your particular want will never be legalized.

bearpaws
bearpaws

Kerns is term-limited out. But don't worry, you Laurel-Billings people seem to have no shortage of bigoted, hateful, dehumanizing republicans who bang the bible in order to shout "hypocrites" in deflecting exact likenesses. Can't wait to see what "representative" you scrape up next.

Ceithern

So someone you disagree with is a "bigoted, hateful, dehumanizing republican"...and at the same time you chide this representative for 'deflecting exact likenesses'. Who is the intolerant one here? Representative Kerns stated his opinion, you disagree with it, and therefore he is intolerant because he disagrees with you? Classic progressive.

Judging by your comment about cities in Yellowstone County, I assume you are a western Montanan...who simply knows what is best for the rest of the state.

TAR

The Bible also has very specific punishments like stoning for adultery, but we don't see Republicans wanting those. The Bible also is quite favorable towards men having more than one wife, human and animal sacrific are acceptable and women are subserviant to men. The greatest Bible love story is David and Jonathan's. There is also the issues of the Bible being heavily censored and reinterpreted over the centuries. We also lose countless young men and women through suicide and resultant mental illness because of our culture bias towards gay people. Kern's and her minions' opinions corrupt Christian principles.

cullen

Why not rewrite more laws on the book that are not en-forcible. The gay right movement is like the EPA and the energizer battery, they just keep on a pushing for more right's. All I know for sure is the squeaky wheel gets the grease. The gay's can have the tax rights, just do not call your union a marriage, I take offense of that.

fretwalker
fretwalker

"pushing for more right's"//__ Why don't you tell us where the limit is on other Americans "rights"--- What "rights do you have that "they" shouldn't have? Why are you more American than others who are just as American as you?

--"I take offense of that" Well , wacky doodle doo dude..... You have a right NOT be offended? Hey be offended till until it fills your boots.... That's your problem.

Demiurge
Demiurge

Poor baby. You mean the name "marriage" when applied to gays is giving you heartburn? Maybe a therapist can help out with your need to control others.

Sarah Baracuda
Sarah Baracuda

Maybe it is just a rumor, but was conversion therapy on the table as part of this bill? Some sort of trade off?

Please, conversion therapy is not real therapy. In fact, it is dangerous.

Atheist Educator
Atheist Educator

I didn't see that nonsense inserted into the bill.

bdog

Holy crap, say what you want about the merits of gay marriage, but this particular story is about gay sex still being considered a criminal act in Montana. And there are still elected officials in this state that believe that it should be a criminal act. And wouldn't you know it that the folks that want it to remain a criminal act are those that crow around about personal rights and less government! Complete hypocrisy. Who elects these idiots?

Atheist Educator
Atheist Educator

bdog asks "Who elects these idiots?"

The answer is in your question.

The Tick

Are there any Gays in Montana? Other then the Californians.

Demiurge
Demiurge

Actually, there are quite a few graduates of BWHS.

blackpowder

How many people posting here are actually born and raised in MT? The majority moved to MT because they didn't like the environment they were living in. Yet they are trying to change MT to be like the place they left. Pretty soon MT will be a place where anything goes just live more populated areas of the US.

bdog

I was born and raised here. So was my father, his father before him, his father before him, and his father before him. How far back do you go? Actually, it doesn't matter, why does it matter to you what people do in their own private moments? Is being gay fundamentally not a "Montanan" thing to do? Maybe we should just stick to screwing sheep.

Demiurge
Demiurge

I was. There are gays everywhere. Get over it.

Bullride21
Bullride21

Dang Californians!

sagebush

Don't have to "rattle" the can too loud to get all you gay's out from under your rocks. You all want everyone to agree your perverted habits are NATURAL and accept your stupid, twisted, perspective on social behavior. Nah, I don't think so. You doubt, if MOST Montanan's find it perverted, and want it declared acceptable ? Let's just put it on the ballot and find out !

Atheist Educator
Atheist Educator

Do you think that the only people who support gay rights are other gays or are you just calling all supports "gay," using it as a pejorative?

Demiurge
Demiurge

Why are you so worried about it?

sox10

This antiquated law needs to go. It is an embarrassment to Montana. For a state that supposedly prides itself on personal privacy how could anyone justify leaving this on the books? For those who keep quoting the bible, there is a separation of church and state. You can believe what you want, that is your right in this country, but those rights do not include denying others their rights.

driver

You hit the nail right on the head sox. Personal privacy is the key phrase here. If you tend to be perverted then keep it personal and private and no one will say a word about it.

fretwalker
fretwalker

If a lot of "these people" had the integrity to be honest they would agree wit pastor(gag) Charles Worley and other preachers and their flocks(gag)

"

“I figured a way out, a way to get rid of all the lesbians and queers but I couldn’t get it pass the Congress – build a great big large fence, 50 or a hundred mile long. Put all the lesbians in there, fly over and drop some food. Do the same thing with the queers and the homosexuals. And have that fence electrified so they can’t get out.

And you know what? In a few years they will die out. You know why? They can’t reproduce. If a man ever has a young'un, praise God he will be the first.”
--How many of "you people" agree with that?----A lot of so-called Americans do, and they could just as easily be in state houses as churches.

RightDog
RightDog

It they “had the integrity to be honest” they “would agree”? Is that what you meant to say? That someone would have integrity if they agreed with an extremist? Or did your inability to construct a paragraph at a third grade level override your intellect … and your “integrity”? You know? Maybe you should go back to plagiarizing Wiki?

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