montana human rights network

A conservative group wants Montana voters to decide whether to regulate transgender people's access to bathrooms and locker rooms.

A conservative group wants Montana voters to decide whether to regulate transgender people's access to bathrooms and locker rooms.

The proposed 2018 ballot initiative by the Montana Family Foundation would require people use public facilities designated for their gender at birth.

The Montana House, on a 56-44 vote, gave preliminary approval to a bill that would ban the application of foreign laws in state courts. Proponents and opponents have dubbed Senate Bill 97 the Sharia law measure. Opponents said it targets Muslims.

Rachel Carroll Rivas, co-director of the Montana Human Rights Network
Courtesy Rachel Carroll Rivas

The Southern Poverty Law Center released its annual national census of organizations it considers extremist or hate based. It includes groups in Montana. Montana Human Rights Network Co-Director Rachel Carroll Rivas spoke with MTPR's Edward O'Brien for a statewide perspective that started with her definition of hate groups.

Proposed Montana Law Would Supersede Federal Gun Regulations

Feb 15, 2017
Sen. Cary Smith is the sponsor of SB-99, which would prohibit federal bans on firearms in Montana.
Freddy Monares - UM Legislative News Service

Lawmakers in Helena are considering a bill that would supersede federal law for any future ban on firearms and magazines.

The Jewish community in Whitefish, Mont., has become the target of online harassment by neo-Nazis after Sherry Spencer, the mother of emerging white nationalist leader Richard Spencer, wrote online about being asked to sell her downtown properties and donate the profits to the Montana Human Rights Network.

One of the paper menorahs Love Lives Here is distributing in Whitefish this Hanukkah
Nicky Ouellet

A few days before the start of Hanukkah, a small group gathered on a street corner in downtown Whitefish, holding stacks of paper menorahs. Joan Vetter Ehrenberg, a volunteer for Love Lives Here, a branch of the Montana Human Rights Network, reads an explanation from the back of the menorah:

"Obviously in response to the anti-semitic targeting of our local friends and neighbors in Whitefish, Love Lives Here invites everyone in the valley to hang a menorah in the window ..."

The Montana Human Rights Network says in the weeks after the general election it has seen an increase in the number of hate incidents. That is why the organization created an on-line hate activity reporting tool.

Tobin Miller Shearer teaches history at the University of Montana
Mike Albans

A University of Montana professor who’s been put on a conservative “watchlist says he’s wary, but won’t be intimidated.

Tobin Miller Shearer teaches history and is director of African American Studies at UM. A couple of weeks ago a colleague emailed him to let him know he’d been put on an online list with dozens of other academics nationwide.

In the wake of Donald Trump’s election last Tuesday, there are numerous reports on the internet of an uptick in election-fueled harassment and intimidation. But's not just the internet, nor just outside of Montana.

Human rights organizations, local police departments and schools here are reporting, or checking out reports, that include pamphlet drops touting Nazi Party ideology, anonymous graffiti bashing Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, and Facebook posts loaded with vitriol and name-calling.

It’s Saturday night. I’m at the Unitarian church in Kalispell with 30 people, and they’re here to talk about racial tolerance in the Flathead Valley. It’s a hard conversation to have, it’s uncomfortable, but most of the people in this room, like Jennifer Stebbins-Han, think it’s important.