Intelligent Discontent

When Opponents of the Helena Anti-Discrimination Ordinance Make the Best Case For It


At last night’s City Commission hearing, one woman made the best case for why we need an anti-discrimination ordinance in Helena:

A mother of two expressed her concern about folks using “gender confusion” as a way to conduct “unnecessary perversion” in places like public restrooms if an ordinance ever passes. She said she feared the ordinance would lead to more perversion and rapes.

“My concern is pedophiles and homosexuals and rapists going into bathrooms,” she told the commission.

Putting aside my real curiosity about what she would describe as necessary perversion, the comments made by this unnamed person illustrate precisely why the proposed ordinance is necessary: some people have such deeply seated prejudice based on perceived or real sexual orientation that they absolutely would discriminate.

“Gender confusion” does not cause pedophilia or rape. Pedophiles and rapists do. That someone would equate their heinous behavior with the simple act of living one’s life as one sees fit makes it clear we do need better legal protection from discrimination for all Helenans.


As Pete Talbot notes, Missoula had firsthand experience with these argument just a short time ago and jhwygirl exposed their approach. MT Cowgirl also reminds us that the people pushing back against the ordinance need to be examined. We’ve sure missed you, Tim.

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Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is a sixteen year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate. In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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