Your average Montanan: a homophobic anti-environmentalist

by Pete Talbot

“We support the clear will of the people of Montana expressed by legislation to keep homosexual acts illegal,” reads a plank in the state’s GOP platform.

So, most Montanans think that two consenting adults of the same gender should go to jail if they want to have sex. Interesting.

“I think your average Montanan would say the environmentalists have gone too far in stopping growth and stifling the economy,” says Bill Gallagher, Republican PSC candidate in District 5.

It’s environmentalists, not Wall Street and the resulting financial meltdown, that have stopped growth and crippled the economy — at least according to your “average Montanan.” Again, interesting.

This begs the question, what is an average Montanan? The Montana Republican Party, with some exceptions, thinks we’re homophobic anti-environmentalists.

It’s not easy or wise to pigeonhole people, especially Montanans. Examples I know of: a gay football coach, a Prius-driving logger, a lesbian wrangler. The Montanans I’ve met, for the most part, are a tolerant lot. They also have great respect for the outdoors. And this isn’t just in leftyville Missoula. With in-laws in Babb and Billings, and gigs in towns from Eureka to Broadus, Wolf Point to Sula, I’m constantly surprised by the depth and understanding of your “average Montanan.”

Sure, one will run into the occasional Neanderthal, but Montana doesn’t have a corner on that market.

(A quick aside. I wish I could vote in this PSC race but the Bill Gallagher/Ken Toole contest isn’t in my district. Ken Toole is a consumer advocate and industry watchdog. Gallagher is a shill for the utilities. And if Toole loses and the Republican wins in Montana’s northern District 1 [Don Ryan-D and Travis Kavulla-R] then Brad Molner would become chairman of Montana’s PSC. Scary stuff.)

I obviously disagree with the Montana Republican Party that Montanans are an intolerant lot and are opposed to environmental safeguards. Au contraire.

Some folks get stirred up by the far-right rhetoric — much of it coming from out of state: images of drag queens marching arm-in-arm up to the altar of the local Pentecostal Church, or claims of an end to all logging, mining, grazing, hunting and fishing if an environmentalist is elected. This ain’t going to happen.

And I have faith that “average Montanans” will look beyond the fear-based messages put out by the likes of Gallagher and the state Republican Party.

  1. Oh, yeah, and maybe you should ask the daughter of a close family friend, not a story, boy, but the real thing here, raped by, uhhh, male or female? Well, excuse me, I never asked, but there was no need for that. But next time who knows, could be either one.

    • petetalbot

      UPDATE: On input from Wulfgar! and others, I pulled Alan’s first comment. This is only the second comment I’ve ever deleted and the first one because of libel concerns. People I don’t know were associated with porn and deviant sex acts. The comment was also way off topic. C’mon, folks, let’s show a modicum of civility here.

      • I think if he ever did get sued for libel, Pete, he could rely on an insanity defense.

        In truth, Pete, I’ve learned a few things from the Electronic Frontier Foundation. If a commenter puts out something that could be seen as libelous, and yet it is defensible based on the suppositions and context of the post, then it is well within reason to keep the comment, the blogger knowing that the blogger has just put him/herself in a position of defending the efficacy of the comment. But, most defenses of suit against libel are expensive, win or lose. Choose wisely. If the comment has nothing to do with the topic or context of the post, then the blogger should feel no obligation whatsoever to expose him/herself to liability. First Amendment protections do not apply against agency not of the government. So, if there isn’t a Constitutional principle to defend, why defend it?

        I realize that I’m not qualified to give legal advice. But if you’ll accept my opinion concerning those comments, nuke ’em from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

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