Help Fight Hate & Violence

by jhwygirl

A coalition of more than 30 local organizations – including Forward Montana, Montana Human Rights Network, ACLU, the Jeannette Rankin Peace Center, and Hellgate High School Gay-Straight Alliance – are joining with the Western Montana Gay & Lesbian Community Center to hold a community rally tonight at The Badlander, from 5-8 p.m.

This event is being held in response to recent anti-gay violence in this community. The rally will include political speakers, short theatrical/dance performances and music. Filmakers from MCAT and Jane O’Holly Productions will record the event to help document stories from the LGBT people who have experienced some form of violence because of the sexual orientation or gender identity.

4&20 wrote about some of these violent attacks. We also speculated “Makes you wonder what it is that you don’t hear about.”

The local statistics are both shocking and disturbing. Jamie Greer writes:

According to the Missoula Police Department, current reports of hate and bias crimes against gay individuals are small in number. However, at the November 13 LAMBDA focus group on hate crimes, just 4 out of 30 community members and students had not been affected by some sort of anti-gay harassment or assault.

26 out of 30 experienced violence?!

Like I said – shocking and disturbing.

Here’s another one:

In 2006 the FBI attributed 19 percent of all violent attacks to be motivated by a victim’s sexual orientation.


If the FBI can compile statistics, maybe the Missoula Police Department should take note too.

Perhaps the Mayor can help with that.

We Are Missoula: Speak up, Stand OUT!
Where: The Badlander (at Ryman and Broadway, downtown)
When: Tonight, 5-8 p.m.
Cost: FREE! The event is open to everyone

  1. Thanks, Jhwygirl, for posting on this…

    The event will feature speakers ranging from Mayor Engen, to Sens. Kaufman and Wanzenried, Rep. Reinhart and County Commissioner Jean Curtiss… along with silk-screen prints for folks who bring a t-shirt from home, a petition to Rep. Rehberg, dj MoraCass, and free pizza from Biga.

    The event is being billed as a kickoff for the long list of events happening in the Missoula area in the coming weeks regarding LGBT civil rights and equality.

  2. I’m glad this is being discussed – and as you’ve now explained – in an ongoing forum. It really needs to be done.

    Keep us updated.

  3. jjack

    I wish there had been more on this sooner!

    Keep us up to date on what’s going on. I’d like to come out and be a part of it, if I can contribute in any way. I’ll also spread the word on my blog.

  4. Jedediah Redman

    Until Montanans recognise their homophobia and legislate some method to control it rationally–by means of education–or irrationally–by police power–it will continue to be dangerous to be queer here…

  5. I, too, would like to echo Jamee’s gratitude for posting information on this event. It was amazing, from beginning to end, and I am looking forward to boasting my ‘gay n griz’ t-shirt this weekend!

  1. 1 New B’birder on Board! « 4&20 blackbirds

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