Saturday, October 16, 2021


Community college students in California are encouraged to examine their options; plus a Boeing 737 Max test pilot was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury on charges of deceiving safety regulators.


Environmentalists have high hopes for President Biden at an upcoming climate summit, a bipartisan panel cautions against court packing, and a Trump ally is held in contempt of Congress for ignoring a subpoena.


A rebuttal is leveled over a broad-brush rural-schools story; Black residents in Alabama's Uniontown worry a promised wastewater fix may fizzle; cattle ranchers rally for fairness; and the worms are running in Banner Elk, North Carolina.

MT Legislative Session's Emotional Toll on Trans Community


Tuesday, June 1, 2021   

HELENA, Mont. -- The transgender community faced an unprecedented number of attacks from the Montana Legislature this session, advocates said.

The most notable was a bill to ban trans girls from high school sports, which supporters contended will protect girls' sports. Opponents argued trans girls out-competing other girls is a non-existent issue in Montana.

Another measure requires people to submit a court order and show proof of surgery in order to change the gender marker on their birth certificates.

Shawn Reagor, director of equality and economic justice for the Montana Human Rights Network, said surgery isn't required to update other documents, including passports and driver's licenses.

"And that's for a number of reasons," Reagor explained. "First of all, a lot of trans folks end up not getting surgery. It's a very personal thing and, in addition to that, it can be difficult to access for a number of folks."

Supporters of the bill claimed the administration under former Gov. Steve Bullock illegitimately changed the administrative rules in 2017, rather than going through the Legislature. Anti-trans legislation has been introduced and passed in states across the country.

Another measure was designed to increase legal protections for Montanans' religious freedoms. But LGBTQ groups worried it gives cover for discrimination, such as firing someone for their gender identity or sexual orientation.

Reagor called the bills a coordinated attack on LGBTQ people that had little support from the public.

"We saw thousands of comments on most of the bills in opposition to them," Reagor reported. "And we had businesses, physicians, athletes, coaches, parents and LGBTQ community members testifying against these bills."

Reagor noted there was success blocking some bills, including measures that would have prevented trans youth from accessing health care such as puberty blockers and surgery.

He emphasized the session had a high emotional toll. His group has seen an increase in school bullying, anxiety, depression, and calls to suicide crisis centers.

Because June is LGBTQ Pride Month, Reagor added it is important to let trans, non-binary and two spirit Montanans know they belong here, and also improve understanding for people outside the communities.

"So when we think about Pride, there will be a big emphasis on reaching out to individuals," Reagor remarked. "To being able to celebrate as a community, to celebrate our resilience, to celebrate all of the work that we did and the wins that we had."

get more stories like this via email
As of 2021, medical aid in dying is an option for terminally ill adults in 10 states and Washington, D.C. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

ALBANY, N.Y. -- A new survey shows most New Yorkers approve of medical aid-in-dying legislation, and advocates for end-of-life autonomy said it is …

Social Issues

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohioans across religious traditions have come together as one voice this week to speak out against capital punishment. Dozens of …

Social Issues

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Community college students in California are being encouraged to take a closer look at their education plans, to see if …

There are an estimated 42,000 farms in Arkansas, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. (Adobe Stock)


SPRINGDALE, Ark. -- New efforts are underway to help small-scale farms in Arkansas expand their business. The Food Conservancy, a northwest Arkansas …

Social Issues

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A high percentage of rejected voter registrations in three of Ohio's biggest counties is raising some red flags. According to the …

Virginia's statewide election is Tues., Nov. 2, and polls are open from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (Adobe stock)

Social Issues

CORRECTION: The last day to request absentee ballots in Virginia is Fri., Oct. 22. An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Oct…

Social Issues

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- A special court panel is hosting public hearings this month, asking Minnesotans what new political maps should look like, and …

Social Issues

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas has some of the weakest gun laws in America, and gun-control advocates say the permissive attitude may be why a student …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021