The ACLU of Montana challenged the constitutionality of the anti-LGBTQ I-183 ballot initiative. Ten Montanans and the City of Missoula signed on as plaintiffs to the legal challenge. The ballot initiative seeks to prevent transgender and gender-nonconforming Montanans from using public facilities that correspond with their gender identity by restricting access to public facilities in public spaces, such as libraries, parks, and schools. I-183 would bar trans Montanans from full and equal participation in public life and nullify many of their constitutional rights. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of seven transgender Montanans, two parents on behalf of their transgender daughter, and the City of Missoula. The lawsuit asks the court to declare the initiative unconstitutional and prevent the Secretary of State from placing it on the 2018 ballot.


ACLU also filed a challenge to the sufficiency of the ballot statement and fiscal note accompanying the proposed measure.  The Montana Supreme Court rejected the statement and note, voiding all of the signatures that the ballot proponents had gathered.  In a victory for the ACLU of Montana, in the summer of 2016 the proponents failed to submit the required number of signatures to place the initiative on the ballot.


Alex Rate

Date filed

October 17, 2017


Eighth Judicial District Court, Cascade County