Helena Montana adds “Colleen Francis” clause to Non-Discrimination Statute

December 5, 2012

Helena Montana City-County Building

Helena Montana City-County Building

Helena Montana city commissioners voted 3-2 yesterday to add a public nudity exemption to the city LGBT non-discrimination ordinance which passed the first phase of the approval process.

A PDF version of the proposed ordinance -prior to the addition of the public nudity amendment- can be viewed here: http://www.kxlh.com/files/draftord.pdf

The proposed non-discrimination statute defines “Gender Identity or Expression” as :

“A gender-related identity expression, or behavior, regardless of the individual’s sex at birth.”

It will provide legal protection to LGBT city residents in all areas of employment, housing, and public accommodation. The public nudity exemption states:

“However in any place of public accommodation where users ordinarily appear in the nude, users may be required to use the facilities designated for their anatomical sex regardless of their gender identity. Such requirements shall not constitute discrimination for purposes of this section 1-8-4”

From the Helena Independent Record, City Commissioner Thweatt explained the amendment “…would allow the owner of a business to remove a person who, for example, was born male but is now a transgender person who had exposed genitalia in a sauna. The explanation was in reference to reports of this happening at Evergreen State College, in Olympia, Wash.

In that case, a man named Colleen Francis was inadvertently given the legal right to expose his male genitals to high school girls in the female locker room, due to an overly broad Washington State public accommodation statute. You can read about that case here: https://gendertrender.wordpress.com/2012/10/07/olympia-wa-school-officials-state-gender-identity-provision-overrides-title-ix-equality-for-girls-swim-teams/

Montana hunter and attorney Roberta “Bobbi” Zenker, who after fifty years of life as a heterosexual married man and father of two decided in 2007 to become transgendered, testified before the committee that he believes men like himself who wish they were female should have the right to expose their penis to females in places of sex-segregated public nudity- and they should exercise discretion as they see fit. “The fact is that I am pretty modest and my experience with trans people is that they are pretty modest too.” Zenker stated.

Good for Helena Montana for passing discrimination protections for LGBT people which also take into account the rights of women and girls to not be subjected to men’s penises in women’s locker rooms and saunas. All males have a right to use facilities based on anatomical sex. What they wear, or how they think of themselves should have no bearing on this. And women and girls have the right to privacy in sex-segregated areas of public nudity, and the right to be protected from male indecent exposure, regardless of what personal beliefs the male subscribes to. Kudos!

The anti-discrimination ordinance passed 5-0 and the final vote will be held on December 17.

28 Responses to “Helena Montana adds “Colleen Francis” clause to Non-Discrimination Statute”

  1. oopster74 Says:

    I agree and disagree with the “clause”. You shouldn’t refuse someone the use of changing facilities, but that rule as described will still cause problems. A bit of common sense would say that alternative facilities could be arranged, ie changing in a single person toilets / shower that are already in place for wheelchair users.

  2. EqualRightsAndProtection Says:

    The first glimmer of sanity. I do wonder about the “2” in the “3-2” vote.

    There need to be stricter rules on what constitutes changing your sex on your official documentation. If gender identity is demanded, then perhaps we need a separate gender identity marking on the driver’s license and birth certificates. Right now, this is totally the wild west and up to a group of therapists and practitioners that may be motivated by financial reasons.

    Panty checks at the door is ridiculous. This is purely to stop the more egregious issues. It won’t stop the voyeurs in the bathroom.

    I think I’m going to start colling this the “Colleen Amendment.”

  3. R Says:

    That’s good news.

  4. Blake Says:

    I say “live and let live”…who is to judge of what a person wears ?
    You only have one chance to live,so live it..
    Ok,this is me > straight guy,unmarried,and have 2 kids and
    so on My wardrobe is mostly female known attire.For me,wearing a skirt,leggins,(if it is cold enuff) and a real cute top of some kind,make up, or what ever it may be and you know the rest.
    The clothes i wear its as normal as brushing my teeth.


    • michelle Says:

      Nobody is judging them for what they wear. They are being taken to task for their insistence that they are female despite the abundantly clear evidence to the contrary. And the Montana amendment seeks to protect females in that jurisdiction from the actions of men such as Francis, which as noted, dealt with what *wasn’t* being worn while still sporting male genitalia…

    • EqualRightsAndProtection Says:

      Blake, that’s gender bending and that is to be commended. I’m a straight, female, married with kid that has been non-conforming in dress and mannerisms my entire life because of the type of job that I have. I’ve always been in very masculine professions, and female mannerisms don’t get you far in those areas.

      Frankly, I’ll wholeheartedly support any man that wants to wear women’s clothes, make-up, heels, etc. (“Terminal” for instance [Howard]) That’s gender bending, not gender conforming. It’s when they start telling me that they are female and want to barge into female spaces and rights that I have a serious issue with them. That’s gender conforming and is very harmful.

      If a man wants to express femininity, we should as a society let them do that. If a woman wants to express masculinity, we should as a society let them do that. Women have been battling this since the 1970’s and we’ve earned the right to wear jeans and slacks without anyone blinking an eye. Men deserve that same right. But they are going to have to push some gender defined boundaries to get it. Gender is a social construct, not a disease.

    • liberalsareinsane Says:

      “Ok,this is me > straight guy”

      We figured that who else would wonder in here and completely miss the fucking point.

      • EqualRightsAndProtection Says:

        Hi Liberalsareinsane,
        I’m not sure what your point was since you didn’t leave it. My position is that wearing clothes and even taking estrogen does not make you female. Females have reproductive anatomy and different needs than men. Men that use estrogen to enhance their cross-dressing fantasies and try to push their fantasy onto other unwilling women by forcing them to take part in viewing naked penises are basically a type of rapist.

        If a guy wants to wear a skirt, more power to ‘im. But there are psychiatrists trying to redefine Female through law even if no sex reassignment surgery (SRS) to remove all male organs and create a vagina has happened. You can be Female in some states simply by saying that you always thought you were a female. That’s what we are fighting against here. Most of those men wanting to be female are heterosexual males that have a specific sexual fantasy in becoming an accepted woman. That fantasy means that they push themselves into women’s private spaces and force their acceptance. They deny biology. They fight having to do any sort of SRS (because they still use that penis) but want to be proclaimed “woman” based on simple feelings that they are the wrong gender.

        The transgender movement claims that there will be no men in women’s spaces because they have redefined that man into a woman. That’s a womanly penis she’s forcing you to view.

        I will fight them from forcing me to be part of their sexual fantasy as long as I draw breath.

      • GallusMag Says:

        Lib’s point was that Blake made a comment relative only to his personal agenda while totally disregarding the main issues raised in the post he was commenting on, either because he had nothing to say about them, or because he was uninterested. That’s how I took her comment to Blake.

        Oh wait- did you think she was responding to your comment because her comment posted underneath yours? She wasn’t. She was responding to Blake. The comment nesting can be confusing sometimes.

      • EqualRightsAndProtection Says:

        Sorry, Lib, I actually thought you were a “straight guy” replying back to my post. I didn’t even catch the fact that was a quote from that other post. I’ll blame sleeplessness, because I really haven’t slept well since early November, but really it’s because I misunderstood.

    • Xam Says:


  5. Marie-France Lesage Says:

    Well HALLELUIA for common sense in Helena, Montana.

    As others have mentioned, I don’t give a rat’s patootie if a dude wants to wear a dress and call himself Princess Such’n’such.


    Just keep his fetid obsessions and clammy danglers OUT of women’s safe and private spaces like dressing rooms, showers and bathrooms, thank you very much, ESPECIALLY when there are minor females present.

    I honestly pinch myself sometimes when reading these threads — I still can hardly believe that we are being forced to have these conversations.

    Goddess wept but the force of depravity is STRONG in some of these men.

    • KittyBarber Says:

      “Fetid obsessions and clammy danglers…” I think we should call this the ‘clammy danglers clause.’ I really love it!

      • EqualRightsAndProtection Says:

        You know, I think I like the term “clammy danglers clause” too. 😉 Let’s take the credit away from that little prick in Everett, Washington. He’s had too much publicity, and it’s obvious he feeds off of it.

        I feel so very VERY angry at him for forcing a sexual experience on these girls and women. I don’t care if it wasn’t one in his mind –it *is* in ours because nudity is sexualized and these girls felt uncomfortable enough to complain. This was not a Swedish mixed bath. I’ve known women who were traumatized for years after an indecent exposure. Watching them be uncomfortable while you sit exposing yourself in the sauna. You utter prick.

      • Marie-France Lesage Says:

        LMAO! Make it so! I would be proud for The Clammy Danglers Clause to make its way into general use. ;0)


  6. wildwomyn Says:

    Sanity reigns in Helena. This law should be the model for every locality wanting to include trans* in non-discrimination laws but not for every single purpose.

  7. ehungerford Says:

    PARTY TIME!!! The effect of this amendment is VERY SIMILAR to the “certain shared facilities” exception proposed in ENDA, as I covered in Advanced topics:

    (3) CERTAIN SHARED FACILITIES- Nothing in this Act shall be construed to establish an unlawful employment practice based on actual or perceived gender identity due to the denial of access to shared shower or dressing facilities in which being seen unclothed is unavoidable, provided that the employer provides reasonable access to adequate facilities that are not inconsistent with the employee’s gender identity as established with the employer at the time of employment or upon notification to the employer that the employee has undergone or is undergoing gender transition, whichever is later.

    The future is here.

    Still, I prefer Helena’s “anatomical sex” phrase. That’s niiiice!! Business owners should also be more supportive of Helena’s wording because it does not require “access to adequate facilities that are not inconsistent with the employee’s gender identity;” it just says “users may be required to use the facilities designated for their anatomical sex regardless of their gender identity.”

    No penises in the women’s locker room.

  8. Bev Jo Says:

    Besides ignoring the entire post, but still managing to support a man exposing himself to little girls (which is a threat of rape), Blake just seemed to want to brag about himself, and his “real cute top of some kind,make up…” It’s just all about him, as if we’d be surprised. I’m guessing he thought we’d be titillated rather than repulsed at the thought.

    I really appreciate your work, EqualRightsAndProtection, in defending female only space and identity, and your vehemence about naming what these men are and are doing. (And I will never believe that men wanting to be naked in front of girls is not sexual for them.) But I wanted to say that it’s very different for women to refuse male rules to be male-identified “feminine,” which brings oppression and punishment to the women, while in no way demeans men, than it is for men to play games with “gender” by caricaturizing and fetishizing the way men order women to look, which humiliates and demeans women. (There is nothing innately feminine in obeying male rules for women’s appearance — that is what is really “masculine” — and there is nothing “masculine” about women being natural and comfortable and refusing male rules to appear as second class people.) For women, being natural-looking is about survival and pride. For men, being unnatural-looking by playing with the symbols of women’s oppression, it’s a fetish and game. Nothing to laud.

    And isn’t it beyond horrible and unjust for these kinds of men who are so prurient and dangerous to females to then have their demands be a case of having anything to do with “LGBT discrimination?” That is why I have never agreed to be part of “LBGT” anything. They are not our friends.

    • EqualRightsAndProtection Says:

      You know, I think that’s really what’s bothering me the most about this, Bev Jo. I have trusted the LGBT organizations to guide discrimination legislation. I feel betrayed by them. Massively betrayed by them. We, the public, think we are supporting the intersex community. We don’t realize that we’re supporting the cross-dressing sexual deviants. I will still support the intersex community –that’s a clear medical issue that will be fixed hopefully when a person is old enough to decide. But the LGBT community is allowing the Trans movement to sweep children into medical treatment. And caught in the Trans grinder are kids that would grow up to be gay/lesbian adults or straight adults. Very few would be trans. But all of them will choose to be trans with all the medical horror that comes with it if they are *groomed* to believe some adult’s idea of what “gender” they are. It makes a thoughtful person sick to their stomach to think of someone subjecting an elementary-school child –or any child! –to that. This really is eugenics in action. The Trans movement plans to use this as a rallying point for the public –help sick children. I wonder how long it would be before they would start to demand that any child that was non-conforming to their birth “gender” role be treated for their own good. Chaz Bono’s comment about Shiloh needing trans treatment is chilling. They would clearly push this as a medical necessity for the child’s mental health. Britain’s public health system is sometimes around the bend about forcing changes, and I’m certain that they’ll try to start that line of reasoning about children’s mental health there.

      It needs to stop NOW. I need to wake up every woman around me. Every woman reading this needs to wake up every woman around them!

      The whole men in locker rooms issue is disturbing and horrible, but the child trans issue is even more horrible. I can’t find one shred of credible medical evidence pointing to a concrete physical manifestation of gender dysphoria.

      The Trans movement is really ugly and disturbing and sometimes I wish that I hadn’t woken up to it because I can’t just sit on the sidelines.

  9. Beth Says:

    Well, there’s still some logic in the world it seems.

    Every week when I was a little girl I can remember my mum taking me and my 3 older brothers to the swimming pool. We never went in the change rooms. My mother made all 4 of us stand to the side behind a little privacy wall near the change rooms to change. There was no way my mother was letting my brothers go into the mens room by themselves but she also respected the other women in the female change room enough to not force my brothers presence on them. She was willing to inconvenience herself (especially since it was hard to get all of us to sit still long enough for her to assist one child in changing behind a towel) to respect the privacy of other people.

    Why is this difficult for people to understand? The world does not revolve around them. There are exclusions placed around a lot of things. If you want to attend a Forensic science presentation headed by the forensic associations, you have to prove that you are a either member of the police force, studying a relevant course or are in some way associated with forensic science. This does not stop people from finding out about new ways to identify bodies, catch criminals etc but it does ensure a measure of protection that the information relevant to criminal investigation stays with people less likely (because there are bad cops too) to abuse it to their advantage. Similar things can be said of other professions. That does not prevent people from associating with web sleuthing communities etc and doesn’t take away your rights as a human being. The same can be said of trans inclusivity. We can respect them and treat them as equals and still have our own space.

    If you have XY chromosome and a male phenotype, you can’t be a female. Same as if you have a criminal record, you can’t be a police officer. You can help combat crime and try and assist police investigations with your knowledge of science but you are not a cop.

    Also, I am not suggesting trans people are criminals. I simply thought it tied well to my forensic analogy.

    Sorry for the rant… 🙂

  10. weirdward Says:

    EqualRights – one thing you can do is to find and support those few lesbian and gay organisations out there that have thus far refused to include trans issues. Whilst it’s true some organisations have jumped on all of this trans stuff with alarming vigour, there are other cases where it was taken up very reluctantly because of pressure from a very vocal and powerful minority of activists. And there are still some groups holding out against it, but they have a tough time of it because of massive pressure and legal threats as well. So they need support and encouragement from both the lbg community and straight allies. Encourage everyone you know to support those orgs that don’t go along with the trans agenda, specifically because of things like transing children, and also because of the stories of detransitioners, which makes it blatantly clear that all of this trans theory and treatment is very far from foolproof, and that vulnerable lesbian youth especially are being disproportionally affected.

    Perhaps also find and support intersex organisations that are not happy about being overrun by trans ideology – I’m sure there are gendertrender readers who would know about those.

    Feminist orgs that are women-only and trans critical are also desperately in need of support, especially popular-opinion type support that would condemn things like serving death threats to women who want to organise or attend women-only events.

    There’s something further that I think needs to be said as well. I think that many who have been following this unfolding trans disaster for any length of time will already be well aware of this, but I think it’s important that we spell it out.

    Academics are making careers out of this, and that’s one of the reasons why it is going to be a damn difficult fight. Yes, we do have the doctors and the mental health professionals who are on the front lines fucking up minds and bodies, and they are threatening and dangerous enough, but the reason they can do what they do is because they’ve got a whole bunch of trusted and ‘progressive’ academic professionals who are ideologically legitimating their actions.

    And the reason those academics are doing that is because they desperately need somewhere for their careers to go. Many of the academics who have enthusiastically embraced the new ‘trans studies’ that is bringing us books about transing history and literature and just about everything else (you can find examples of this on gendertrender) are the same ones who have been making a living off of queer theory for the last 5 or 10 or 20 years. But right now they’re facing a huge problem, which is that queer theory has been done to death and has gone just about everywhere it can go. There’s simply very little intellectual or theoretical mileage left in it, and for many academics ‘trans’ theories are the next logical thing for them to pick up, seeing as how it’s only a little hop, skip and jump away. And I think that the ones doing this are the real threat that needs to be addressed. Of course, these academics are also largely insulated from the real-life consequences of their theories, which, when applied to real-life situations leaves us with rapists in women’s prisons, naked men in girls’ locker rooms and confused young lesbians thinking they need to take ‘t’ because they like crew cuts and cargo pants.

    The only thing that is going to stop many of these professionals is to make it unprofitable for them to continue by making the wider intellectual and public and activist communities see that all of this trans stuff they are pushing is immensely damaging and conservative, and not the next progressive revolution as they are claiming. And I’d argue the voices of detransitioners may well be the most powerful tool we have for that, right now.

  11. […] is a very reasonable compromise and one that has been used in other jurisdictions! It provides everyone with the facility access they need and avoids imposition of one group’s […]

  12. N00bert Says:

    The Collen Francis amendment in Helena was very specific in that people have to use the space designated for their anatomical sex when sex organs would be visible. This DE amendment is vague and useless and requires women to be mind-readers. A woman should psychically know whether the dude scrubbing his schlong next to her dresses is in drag on the daily and does not have an “improper purpose” in being there? I’m going to go with what I psychically know and say that any man who forces women to observe his dick in a washroom has an aggressive “improper purpose”. Use the individual stalls and GTFO out our showers!

    Also relevant-

  13. Kathleen Says:

    These people you are referring to are mentally incapable of knowing the difference between human and animal behavior! I for one will never go back to Helena, Mobtana! 😠

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