Last edited: December 05, 2004

Montana Bill Seeks Registration of Gays

USA Today, March 24, 1995

By Shannon Tangonan

Montana residents who engage in homosexual sex may soon have to register with the state, like certain other felons.

That’s one intent of a bill that passed the state Senate Wednesday. The bill is expected to be hammered out in a conference committee.

Voting along party lines, the Republican-controlled Senate agreed to include homosexual sex in a bill requiring convicted sex offenders and other felons to register with local law enforcement for life.

[missing text] ...that lumps consensual gay sex with murder, rape, aggravated assault, incest, sexual assault and indecent exposure.

Republican state Sen. Al Bishop of Billings told the Senate that gay sex is "even worse than a violent sexual act."

In Montana, it’s a felony to engage in "deviant" sexual acts, but those having consensual homosexual sex are rarely prosecuted. Sodomy laws are on the books in 24 states.

"The intention was to require a lifetime registration for certain violent offenders," says Senate Minority Whip Steve Doherty, who voted for an amendment to exclude the homosexual sex provision. That failed 18-32.

"We did not feel we had any business asking gay people to register - period," Doherty says.

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