This past week, I received a sickening postcard from Great Falls Republican Representative Lola Sheldon-Galloway. I’m assuming her message was in response to public comment I sent to the legislature about their continued attacks on LBGTQ+ Montanans. You can see an image of the bigoted, disturbing shit she is telling Montanans here:
In her postcard message, Lola stated, “In our confusing WOKE Culture defining sex is necessary to clarify GOD’S Truth – GOD created male + female in HIS IMAGE! I will continue to STAND for this ETERNAL TRUTH!”
Good grief, who are we letting create the laws in our state?
I’m not going to dive deeply into the logical fallacies of Lola’s statement. But I will point out that those are her personal religious beliefs, not eternal truths. “Christians” like Lola Sheldon-Galloway are openly comfortable claiming that they have a biblical mandate to occupy and control secular institutions. (Ironically, many evangelicals do not consider Lola Sheldon Galloway and her husband Steven to be Christian because they are Mormons. A fact that is apparently completely lost on the Galloways as they claim to represent the Christian perspective.)
Besides her evidenced lack of scientific knowledge, Lola apparently also lacks basic knowledge of our government’s founding principles. Because of their overt worship of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, I assume Republicans are also aware of our First Amendment.
The First Amendment prohibits the government from “establishing” a religion and protects citizens’ right to practice their religion as they please. The United States was founded as a SECULAR nation. That means the separation of church and state is fundamental to our nation.
But our GOP-majority State Legislature and Republican Governor Greg Gianforte don’t give a shit about your religious beliefs if they aren’t in line with their White Christian Nationalism.
How is the religious extremism of our GOP government impacting Montana?
One way is via the Republican majority’s attacks on LGBTQ+ Montanans. Our Republican “leaders” have pursued a slate of anti- LGBTQ+ bills throughout this legislative session. When their relentless, hate-filled bills were called out for the death sentence they are to LGBTQ+ children, Republicans silenced their colleague Representative Zooey Zephyr. The Republican Speaker of the House has refused to let Representative Zephyr speak on the floor until she apologizes for her correct assessment of the harmful impacts of their hate. Representative Zephyr is a trans woman, which is relevant because of how her bullies are acting. In their public comments, numerous Republicans have misgendered her just to emphasize their cruel bigotry.
What is up with the Montana GOP’s slate of hate-filled anti-LGBTQ+ bills?
Sadly, many of these bills are close to being signed into law by our equally extreme governor. Our Great Falls legislators are doing nothing to slow these attacks. Instead they are all voting FOR this hate over and over again. Several active bills attacking LGBTQ+ Montanans are listed below.
These are shameful days for our state. Goodbye Montanan attitude of “live and let live.” Not any more. Not when representatives like Lola Sheldon-Galloway feel emboldened to let their religious beliefs lead their legislative actions.