A proposed Montana ballot initiative would regulate who can use which bathrooms.  A conservative group wants Montana voters to decide whether to regulate transgender people’s access to both bathrooms and locker rooms.  The initiative proposed by the Montana Family Foundation would require that people use public facilities designated for their gender at birth.  It could, however, thrust Montana into the national debate over transgender rights.

The announcement come on the heels of Big Sky Pride events in Billings recognizing LGBTQ rights.  The proponents say they want to protect “the privacy, safety and dignity” of Montanans and guard against possible sexual predators– while the Human Rights Campaign and the American Civil Liberties Union say there is no statistical evidence of transgender violence to justify these laws.  Critics warn that Montana could face anti-discrimination lawsuits, and lose millions of dollars in business.