Hate In Montana? These Past Crimes Are Brutal Beyond Words.
We have heard it more than once: "Bring back the old Bozeman." And I totally get it! People want the housing market to go back to affordable, they don't want the "crazy Californians" taking over the town, and they want the sweet town they used to have. Unfortunately, those hopes and dreams may be a thing of the past, but we've also seen huge improvement throughout the years.
Speaking of the past, it seems as though in the late '90s and early 2000s, Montana was not so LGBTQ-friendly. I recently found a website that included Senate Minutes regarding "Hate Crimes, Stories from Montana Communities."
I will say, I was a bit shocked, to be honest. These stories are quite harsh, but they also indicate that with time, Montana has become more friendly and equality-driven, and will hopefully continue to be.
These hate crimes happened in Montana, all according to the Montana Human Rights Network.
A gay man was assaulted with an ice pick by his roommate in Missoula. The roommate had attempted to convince the victim of becoming a heterosexual. The attacker was charged with felony assault. - Montana Human Rights Network
A gay man in Roundup was harassed by a bar employee and attacked by a patron. The assailants direct numerous anti-gay epithets at him. The patron pushed and shoved the victim and put his cigarette out on the victim's arm. - Montana Human Rights Network
In early November, a jury convited six memebers of the Montana Front Working Class Skinheads under federal hate crimes law. The individuals went to federal prison on charges stemming from "Park Patrol," a term referring to the group's attempt to make Billings' Pioneer Park a whites-only location. -Montana Human Rights Network
COLUMBIA FALLS 2007
On March 16th, a Columbia Falls man was attacked and brutally beaten in his driveway. The man's jaw, nose, eye sockets and ankle were shattered. His nostril was ripped, two bones in his feet were broken, his palate was cracked, and his septum damaged. This man was assaulted because his attacker found out he was gay. -Montana Human Rights Network
Unfortunately, we live in a world where there will always be "hate", but luckily we also live in a world where we are seeing more equality and more resources each day for those feeling discriminated against.
HEALTHY GALLATIN is a great resource for our LGBTQ community.
THE CENTER is also a great resource that Montana offers. A site to see events, health clinics, and groups.
cc: Montana Human Rights Network