IN the Great Falls Tribune (“serving northcentral Montana for more than 122 years”) we read Extreme right back with new rewrite of Constitution. It’s a “Viewpoint” article written by Travis McAdam, executive director of something called the Montana Human Rights Network. Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:
They’re Back! After failing last election cycle, right-wing ideologues who want their religious views inserted into the Montana Constitution are back with another proposed constitutional amendment, CI-102. The amendment is another attempt to ban abortion in Montana. However, it probably would have a negative impact on other medical decisions, including in-vitro fertilization and access to contraception.
We don’t debate about abortion around here, but this news is constitutionally fascinating, and if you stay with us you’ll see that there’s a creationist connection, so let’s read on:
Former Rep. Rick Jore and his Constitution Party of Montana led the charge last election cycle. He returns this year with a new right-wing entity, the Montana Pro-Life Coalition. The coalition’s CI-102 defines life as beginning at fertilization and grants a fertilized egg due process rights that are separate from those of the pregnant woman.
This sets up the bizarre scenario where a pregnant woman could be sitting in court with her attorney, while legal counsel for the fertilized egg in her womb sat at an opposing table.
Here’s a link to the Montana Secretary of State’s office, where you can read the proposed amendment: Constitutional Initiative No. 102 (CI-102). We continue:
The extreme nature of CI-102 isn’t surprising considering the activists behind it.
Okay, now it gets interesting:
Jore sits on the coalition’s board and also leads the Constitution Party of Montana. His party likes to wrap itself in God, country, and flag while framing itself as the pillar of conservatism. His party’s brand of conservatism seeks to base civil law on right-wing biblical doctrine and panders to the militia movement’s hatred of established government.
During his time in the Montana Legislature, Roger Koopman sponsored legislation that supported teaching biblical creationism in public schools and requiring death certificates be filed after abortion procedures.
While always part of the ultra-conservative faction of the Montana Republican Party, Koopman declared war on his own party in 2008. His “Liberty Project” focused on defeating incumbent Republican legislators he viewed as “socialists.” This elicited all sorts of public condemnations by other Republicans, and Koopman did not run for re-election. He is the Pro-Life Coalition’s secretary.
Ah, so Koopman is the missing link between the creationists and this proposed constitutional amendment. Moving along:
Finally, there is Dr. Annie Bukacek who serves as the group’s president. She is a notorious letter-to-the-editor writer in the Flathead whose diatribes generally reflect the religious right’s hatred of reproductive freedom, gays and lesbians, and public schools.
She states that gays and lesbians engage in “sexually deviant behavior” and claims that equality under the law “threatens the foundation and stability of our nation.” She has also complained that public schools have “duped” most Americans into believing “deceptive philosophies” that support the separation of church and state.
Sexual obsession, creationism, and theocracy. It sounds like they’ve tunneled into a toxic waste dump from the Dark Ages. The only thing they’re missing is witch trials. We wonder what ol’ Ben Franklin would have thought of this group.
Here’s one last excerpt:
The supporters of CI-102 have indicated they will continue to run initiatives until they are successful. This is part of their personal attack on the Montana Constitution. We encourage Montanans to do what they have done in the past and oppose this attempt to place religious dogma in the Montana Constitution and dismantle our right to privacy.
We’ll be watching this one. It ought to be fun.
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