Montana has wide open spaces, big sky, and homophobic bigots running their state legislature. Commenting on the failure of a bill that would repeal a law that criminalizes homosexuality, Rep. Ken Peterson, R-Billings, says that the law, ruled unconstitutional by the Montana Court in 1997, thinks that the law may still apply in some situations.
According to an article published in the Missoula Independent:
According Peterson, chair of the House Judiciary Committee, there are at least two prosecutable offenses—felonies punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $50,000 fine. One is the “recruitment” of non-gays. “Homosexuals can’t go out into the heterosexual community and try to recruit people, or try to enlist them in homosexual acts,” Peterson says. He provides an example: “‘Here, young man, your hormones are raging. Let’s go in this bedroom, and we’ll engage in some homosexual acts. You’ll find you like it.'” Peterson hasn’t actually seen this happen, he says, because “I don’t associate with that group of people at all… I’ve associated with mainstream people all my life.”
The other offense, in Peterson’s legal opinion, is the public display of homosexuality, since he believes the Supreme Court’s decision only applies to private acts behind closed doors. Being gay in public, he says, is a wholly different matter:
“In my mind, if they were engaging in acts in public that could be construed as homosexual, it would violate that statute. It has to be more than affection. It has to be overt homosexual acts of some kind or another… If kissing goes to that extent, yes. If it’s more than that, yes.”
Peterson says that he never intended to offend the LGBT community with his comments. That’s like calling the Tuskegee Airmen, “A fine bunch of patriotic nig#$@s”, and being surprised that you caused them offense.
Other lawmakers were even more brazenly open with their homophobia; one opposing witness of the bill went so far as to say all pedophiles are either gay or bisexual.
What really gets me is the supreme arrogance of these people. For a political group that claims it is fighting for less government interference in people’s lives, the Tea Party crowd sure likes to tell other people how to live their lives. I guess it is one thing to have the government try to control the sale of guns, but completely another to have it tell you who you can love and who you can’t. The hypocrisy is so blatantly obviously that I can only conclude that these people are either diabolical liars or so clueless that they have to wear hats to keep their brains from falling out. It is like some Saturday Night Live sketch come to life and gone horribly wrong. It would be funny except for the fact that these people are electing either liars or idiots to office. Either way, it is us, the people, who lose.