Last week we told you about two school choice bills up for hearing this coming Wednesday, February 15th. Now you can add a third bill, and this one’s a doozy.

House Bill 417 by Billings Representative Kelly McCarthy would add the term “sexual orientation and gender identity” as protected classes in every section of Montana Human Rights Law. This is the type of bill that’s been used in other states to curtail religious liberties, drive wedding cake bakers out of business, and to force schools to allow boys who think they’re girls to use high school girls’ locker rooms. In short, this is the most ominous legislation of the progressive left, and it has to be stopped.

The bill defines gender identity as “gender-related identity, appearance, expression or behavior of an individual, regardless of the individual’s assigned sex at birth.” That last statement is alarming by itself. It’s the proponents’ contention that sex is not male or female, but could be any one of a number of sexes and is not defined by genetics, but is a social construct that society assigns. God’s Word says that He created two genders, male and female, but the City of New York recognizes 31 different gender identities, and so will Montana if this bill passes.

And it doesn’t stop there. Once the bill defines gender identity, it goes on to say that discriminating against a person based on their gender identity is illegal in the areas of employment, public accommodation, housing, finance and education. The scary thing is that these types of laws have been used in other states to nullify previously guaranteed Constitutional liberties, such as the freedom to practice your religion without government intervention. In fact, where these laws have passed, religious freedom arguments have routinely failed in court. That means a church-run daycare could be forced to hire a man who thinks he’s a woman. Churches could also be forced to marry homosexual couples or allow a woman who thinks she’s a man into a men’s only counseling group.

The possibilities are endless, and that’s the point. These laws are being used to deconstruct the meaning of family, what it means to be male and female, and previously-held standards of privacy and modesty. Case in point: For years, we’ve argued that these types of laws would force women to accept men in their restrooms, locker rooms and shower rooms. The other side denied that, but this bill explicitly says that people must be allowed into the bathing or dressing facilities based on their gender identity. And since there’s no objective standard for gender identity, it’s entirely possible that we could have high school senior boys showering with freshmen girls. It’s already happening in other states.

So what can we do? This is an “All Hands on Deck” moment. If you can, please come to the hearing in the House Judiciary Committee at 8 a.m. on Wednesday to voice your opposition. If you can’t, then please contact the members of the House Judiciary Committee and ask them to vote “No” on House Bill 417. You can do that by calling the Capitol switchboard at 444-4800 or by emailing them through the legislative website at

It’s time to make your voices heard. Please contact the members of the House Judiciary Committee today and ask them to vote “No” on House Bill 417.