Montana legislature just a damn church social now

I don’t know if you heard about this, but there there was kind of a conservative resurgence in the last election. Normally, Montana is resistant to such broad national trends—see also: real estate collapse, Trader Joe’s, prohibition against sweatpants in public—and in this case, the notion of the median political position moving to the right seemed almost statistically impossible. Those of us living in Missoula tend to forget, but Montana is one of the redder states in the union, as a quick trip down (and, abruptly, further down) any public roadway will indicate. Yet, like Frankenstein slowing down as he gets older, the Montana legislature has managed to become even more conservative. The other week, we talked about their plan to adopt the most restrictive voter registration requirements in the country. On Friday, they’ll vote on repealing the so-called Missoula Ordinance, which prohibits discrimination in housing and public accommodations on the basis of sexual orientation, and on adopting a law that would ban similar nondiscrimination ordinances across the state. Somewhere in that busy agenda of protecting freedom by outlawing various actions, they’ve also found time for House Bill 438, a law that would require couples to complete ten hours of marriage counseling before they can get divorced.

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