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Here’s Why the Billings City Council Rejected the Non Discrimination Ordinance

Photo Courtesy of City of Billings Facebook Page

Lost in all of the hoopla over the tragic suicide of Robin Williams, there is another big story here in Billings.  Late last night, the Billings City Council voted to reject the controversial Non Discrimination Ordinance.  The Flakes were just as surprised as you were.

Mark and Paul were convinced that Billings wouldsurely follow in the footsteps of Helena, Bozeman and Missoula, who have recently adopted similar ordinances.  Even more shocking was the fact that Mayor Thomas Hanel cast the deciding vote.  This may be the first time our Mayor has ever voted “no” on anything.

Kidding aside, there is one major reason why the ordinance was rejected.  Bathrooms.  City Councilman Shaun Brown cited it as the primary reason he voted no.  The ordinance would have allowed transgender citizens to use any public restroom, regardless of their anatomy.  For Mark and Paul, this was the real sticking point, especially considering that children could be using those restrooms.

Of course, as the Flakes have contended all along, discrimination is already against the law.  What this so called “non discrimination” ordinance actually promoted was picking and choosing what groups can be discriminated against.  For example, yesterday was Senior Citizen Day at the MontanaFair.  People over the age of 65 were admitted into the fair for free.  If you are 64, you are technically being discriminated against. And the slope gets more slippery from there.

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