Emails reveal Gianforte's belief that discrimination is good for businesses
Gianforte asked officials to support discrimination in Bozeman, National Journal reports
(Helena, MT) - Suggesting discrimination is good for business growth, billionaire Greg Gianforte personally lobbied Bozeman officials to oppose a non-discrimination ordinance and even urged them to pass Indiana-style language that would allow businesses to discriminate against LGBT community members, according to emails obtained by National Journal.
"Homosexual advocates try to argue that businesses are leery of locating in towns that aren't friendly to homosexuals," Gianforte said in a 2014 email to Bozeman's mayor and city commissioners. "I believe the opposite is truer."
Gianforte's controversial views are at odds with the facts.
Indiana Governor Mike Pence in March signed a so-called “Religious Freedom Restoration Act," sparking a firestorm of controversy. Prominent businesses threatened to leave the state and convention organizers threatened to pull-up stakes. Even NASCAR and religious groups condemned the unpopular bill. Indiana’s economic development arm has since announced they’re spending at least $2 million of taxpayers' money to rehabilitate their battered image.
According to today’s National Journal report, Gianforte lobbied city officials to pass a similar discrimination measure in Bozeman, even passing along language he found acceptable.
“Montana has a long history of tolerance, equality and fairness, which is why today’s report about Greg Gianforte's views is deeply troubling and offensive,"said Nancy Keenan, Executive Director of the Montana Democratic Party. "You don’t need to look any further than Indiana to know that Greg Gianforte’s controversial beliefs are bad for Montana businesses.”
The full National Journal report can be found here.