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Last month, Honey Maid released an ad that featured diverse families with the tagline “This is wholesome.” While some businesses occasionally back down in the face of negative responses, Honey Maid took a measured look and turned both the positive and negative comments into an art piece that confirms their position on love and family.

The work we do in Montana sometimes feels the same. Occasionally, we get negative comments when we work for LGBTQI rights in Montana. There are people who speak against passing basic protections in housing, employment, and access to public accommodations at both the local and state level of government. There are people who believe that loving, committed couples should not have any right to protect themselves and their families in times of crisis or even death.

But thousands of Montanans do believe in fairness, security and dignity for themselves or their friends, family, colleagues and neighbors who are LGBTQI, and have signed their names to our statement of support for these basic protections. We are always encouraged to see the friendly faces who turn out for rallies, presentations and volunteer opportunities in support of equality.

Our work in Montana has never been as vital as it is right now. Our work on Nondiscrimination Ordinances (NDO) across the state continues. Both Bozeman and Billings are currently looking at extending protections to the LGBT community. The Donaldson & Guggenheim case is progressing forward to ensure that Montana’s same sex couples have equal protections in the eyes of the law. We continue to support local Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) groups in schools across the state. And we partner with other national, state and local organizations to advocate for rights for ALL.

The small, but vocal, opposition to progress for Montana’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community may show their displeasure for progress, but we are convinced that LOVE will always win. And that is a beautiful thing.