Well, with just 24 hours notice, a hearing has been scheduled for 8 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19, on a bill to add gender expression/identity and sexual orientation to the classes protected under the Montana Human Rights Act.

It's a disappointing move to schedule the hearing with such little notice. It will likely prevent many people who would have liked to testify from making their way to the Capitol, but that just makes it all the more important that those of us who can be there fill the room with support for equality.

Please testify for fairness and LGBT equality tomorrow, Feb. 19, at 8 a.m. in the House Judiciary Committee, Room 137.

Or, if you can't make it, call the Capitol switchboard at 406-444-4800, and leave a message for the House Judiciary Committee.

House Bill 481, sponsored by Rep. Edie McClafferty, would protect those who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender -- or who appear to be -- from discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations everywhere in Montana. Similar bills have failed in the past, and the testimony from those opposed has been hurtful.

At the same time, the statements from those who support equality have been inspirational and uplifting. There's no question that we will all continue to work toward a Montana where everyone is treated fairly until the job is done.

Hearings and floor sessions can be accessed online.