Last edited: December 31, 2004

Montana Votes to Register Homosexuals

Senate Decides Homosexuals Must Report Whereabouts to Authorities

Associated Press, March 22, 1995

By Bob Anez

HELENA – Homosexuals, like murderers and rapists, are criminals in Montana and should be required to let authorities know where they live for the rest of their lives, the Senate decided Tuesday.

Senators agreed to include homosexuality as one of the crimes for which a convicted person must register with local law enforcement under a lifetime mandate.

An attempt to remove that provision from House Bill 214 failed on an 18-32 vote. The measure was endorsed on a voice vote and faces a final Senate vote Wednesday.

Sen. Terry Klampe, D-Florence, led the effort to exclude homosexuals from the registration requirement.

He said homosexuality may be considered deviant sexual conduct under state law, but it is not a violent crime and has no victim like other offenses covered by the bill: murder, rape, aggravated assault, incest, sexual assault, and indecent exposure.

"We’re not talking about whether you condone homosexuality," he said.

Sen. Fred Van Valkenburg, D-Missoula, said the rape law already covers violent acts involving homosexuals and heterosexuals. What’s more, he said, no one has ever been prosecuted for homosexual acts so no homosexuals will have to register and they should not be covered by the bill.

"This is much ado about nothing," the deputy Missoula County attorney told those wanting the measure to include homosexuals. "Why are you making a big deal out of it? It is stirring up a pot that doesn’t need to be stirred." But those wanting the provision retained were adamant.

Sen. Al Bishop, R-Billings, said he considers homosexual acts as worse than some other crimes. "This type of action is even worse than a violent sexual act," he said.

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