Welcoming Diversity Ordinance

Welcoming Diversity Ordinance (WDO) Basics and Being Heard

On Monday, February 24, 2020 the Billings City Council will be debating a Welcoming Diversity Ordinance. The text of the ordinance is available here (click here). There are several ways to make your opinion about this ordinance heard:

  1. Write an Email: Email the City Council at council@billingsmt.gov expressing your support (template).
  2. Testify: On Monday, February 24, 2020 the City Council will be taking public comment on the proposed ordinance. It is likely that Mayor Cole will limit the amount of testimony from each side of this conversation. A local group of organizers is trying to coordinate the pro-WDO speakers to ensure that all of the arguments in favor are covered, please contact the organizers (kielylammers@gmail.com) if you would like to participate. See our Tips for Testifying (click here) page.
  3. Organize: The most important aspect of this effort is to get the largest number of supporters heard by the Council. You can work informally by reaching out to all of your friends, family, and other contacts to ask them to write in favor of the WDO. If you are interested in helping to organize this effort, please email (kielylammers@gmail.com).
  4. Self-Care and Care for Others: Engage in this discussion only at a level that feels safe both physically and emotionally. If you need help, please reach out to us on facebook messenger (facebook.com/406pride) or come into the resource center to talk with a volunteer. Be there for a friend, family member, or acquaintance who might be negatively impacted by the hateful rhetoric.

Important Stories

While all perspectives are welcome in this discussion, City Council has demonstrated a particular interest in hearing about 1. specific stories where an WDO type law would have provided relief for discriminatory behavior; and 2. understanding the business benefits of having a WDO.

Understanding the state of Anti-discrimination law in Montana

The Williams Institute at the UCLA law school compiled a report on the state of legal protections for LGBTQ+ people in Montana in 2017 (click here).

Self Care

With this discussion happening in our community, we want everyone to feel safe and healthy. We know that the discussion of our basic humanity or our right to exist free of discrimination in Billings is hurtful. Someone denying us these protections says nothing about us and our merit, value, or worth–it says everything about those denying us these protections, they are afraid to lose power and domination over a minority–that is sick.

Engage in this discussion only at a level that feels safe both physically and psychologically. If you need help please reach out to us on facebook messenger facebook.com/406pride or come into the resource center to talk with a volunteer.

406 Pride Resource Center Extended Hours

The 406 Pride Resource Center will be for extended hours the week of 02/24/2020 – 02/29/2020. Please come in if you are struggling with this discussion, or reach out to us online (facebook.com/406pride or 406pride@gmail.com).

Monday-Friday: 9:00 am – 9:00 pm

Saturday: 11:00 am – 2:00 pm