Posted: Sep 20, 2010 11:41 AM by Marnee Banks (KXLH)
Updated: Sep 20, 2010 6:41 PM
Republican State Senator John Brueggeman of Polson is taking a stand on homosexuality, and is proposing a bill which would strike language from Montana law which prohibits homosexuality.
Brueggeman says he expects to roll out draft language in the upcoming weeks.
This comes after news hit the press about the Montana Republican Party adopting a platform to keep acts of homosexuality illegal.
Brueggeman, a Republican, says this isn't a partisan issue, noting, "It's about standing up for individual liberties."
He says even though the law hasn't been enforced in Montana, and it was ruled as unconstitutional, he still wants to remove the language.
"It's an embarrassing reminder of an old time where people's thoughts were different," Brueggeman says.
He says the mere presence of a statement which outlaws homosexuality is incredibly offensive.
"Is it politically a little touchy? Yeah, but that is not why we get elected. We get elected to do the right thing," Brueggeman adds.
The Montana Republican Party was contacted for a response, and mid-day on Monday officially issued a "no comment."
The Montana Democrats issued the following statement in response to Senator Brueggeman's announcement: "Montana Democrats are happy to see Brueggeman stand up and do the right thing. There’s no place in Montana for discrimination of any kind. Hopefully, his Republican peers will also see the light and help move Montana forward by joining us in preserving individual freedoms for every citizen."
The text of the current law can be found in Montana Annotated Code 45-5-505; it reads as follows:
45-5-505. Deviate sexual conduct. (1) A person who knowingly engages in deviate sexual relations or who causes another to engage in deviate sexual relations commits the offense of deviate sexual conduct.
(2) A person convicted of the offense of deviate sexual conduct shall be imprisoned in the state prison for any term not to exceed 10 years or be fined an amount not to exceed $50,000, or both.
(3) The fact that a person seeks testing or receives treatment for the HIV-related virus or another sexually transmitted disease may not be used as a basis for a prosecution under this section and is not admissible in evidence in a prosecution under this section.