Protest held in downtown Billings following bill hearings regarding LGBTQ rights

Several bills were heard in Helena on Thursday that would have a major impact on Montana’s LGBTQ community. In response, protests were organized statewide for Saturday.

The Billings protest was held at the Yellowstone County Courthouse lawn in downtown Billings. It started at 10 a.m.—the same time sister protests across the state were held. Protest organizers told MTN News that Helena and Missoula would have the largest crowds.

One of the protest organizers, Quinn Wolffe, told MTN on Friday that this was a chance to publicly denounce the bills.

“What are (the lawmakers) really afraid of and what is the point in these bans? It doesn’t make sense,” Wolffe said. “I use the word important a lot, but I don’t have a better word for it. It’s massive.”

Protesters on Saturday were seen with large signs, shouting chants as cars passed.

“I am here because I’m newly trans and out. (These bills) genuinely make me fear for myself and my identity,” said protester Ivy Martallis on Saturday. “For those that are supporting these anti-trans bills, I would just say try to put yourself in the shoes of somebody who is transitioning. Try to wake up every day feeling wrong in your own skin, and then come back to me and tell me how it feels.”