Hamilton Mayor Dominic Farrenkopf on Tuesday evening was tasked with presiding over another highly contentious meeting. The city council brought forward a proclamation for discussion and potential adoption. The proposed proclamation that was presented for consideration is stated by many to be very divisive. Citizens that attended the meeting echoed the concern that the proclamation opens the door to division in the community.
In June many of the same players supporting the proclamation brought forward the painting of a crosswalk in Hamilton. The painting was founded in recognition of those seeking recognition of the LGBTQ et.al agenda. The Mayor and city council members were met with an overwhelming opposition to the proposed crosswalk painting. In addition it was pointed out that Montana laws under the department of transportation do not provide for highway/road markings outside of traffic control.
“We do not need to open this can of worms. As you can see just from the tension in the audience, we just don’t need to do this in our community. These sort of things, they just don’t bring us together, leaving the pavement alone is the best solution.”Kevin Horton Who Spoke against the Crosswalk Painting
Several people we talked to prior to the meeting on the proposed proclamation, stated that members of the city council that promoted the crosswalk are the same community leaders bringing forward the proclamation.
City Councilwoman West and Councilwoman Bielski are two council members that are active on the promotion of the proclamation.
It is claimed by those that spoke at the open meeting, that the proclamation is the back door approach to the earlier failed sidewalk proposal.
In the open reading of the proclamation, Mayor Farrenkoph was inundated with an applause by those in the meeting supporting the proclamation. This action opened the door to more disruptions from the public throughout the rest of the meeting. The seriousness of this social issue brought forward a level of contention in the city chambers that could be cut with a dull knife.
“Government Cannot Legislate Morality”
Citizens one after another rose in opposition to the proclamation. Mayor Farrenkoph gave the people as much professional courtesy as he could, but members of the council openly objected to timing overruns from citizens speaking to the matter. There were objections to opposing views of the proclamation from council members. Overall the people testifying before the council against and for the proposed proclamation, showed restraint and exercised decorum in the meeting.
At issue according to multiple citizens that testified in opposition to the proposed proclamation is the foundation of freedom and liberty. This is the foundation written into the United States Constitution as well as the Constitution of Montana. The Constitution provides for any action by government that places these concepts in question provides for citizens to seek a redress of those grievances before the appropriate elected representatives.
Those attending the meeting in support of the proclamation showed a clear animosity to everyone that spoke out against the proclamation. The room did reach a level of stability when questions were raised in testimony that the proclamation allegedly opens the door to division and exclusion rather than the intent of diversity and inclusion.
Upon conclusion of public comment on the proposed proclamation, Mayor Farrenkoph openly sought possible reconsideration of the proposal. Because the proclamation could fail to be fully inclusive, Mayor Farrenkoph stated he was not comfortable putting his name on the document.
The main focus of the proclamation is to enhance the social issue behind the LGBQT et.al. movement. One of the citizens in his public comment made the statement that according to the national movement, there are over 140 different gender classes seeking recognition. This claim is factually and scientifically false.
Even though Mayor Farrenkoph openly worked to table the proclamation and citizens cited concerns about freedom and liberty protected in the Constitution, the city council members unanimously voted to approve the following document:
The City of Hamilton is placing a value on the diversity of the community and are moving forward with a call to place in the record equality, inclusion, and safety that relate to the core values of the city.
The proclamation further commits the city to recognizing dignity of all people; placing verbal and physical acts that may threaten or intimidate people are inconsistent with the core values of the city.
The city further places in the record the points and opinions of individuals regarding culture that some citizens may or may not agree with. Focusing on dignity of “All” people, the city proclamation furthers the claim of racism and culture differences.
Politics within the community are being identified in the proclamation as being a catalyst of division, isolation and hate.
The proclamation provides for an open door to add individual interpretation of the principles of equity and human rights while referencing the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
The proclamation further opens an opportunity for enhancement of the celebration of the community’s diversity making the community home including the concept of public school diversity concepts, regardless of national origin, color, race, age, faith, religion, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity, financial or socioeconomic status or political opinion.
Driven by the Hamilton City Council requiring the signing off on the proclamation by the Mayor of Hamilton, the proclamation sets in motion a baseline reference to modifying the ability to respond to changing opinions of values of inclusion urging all residents to treat each other with respect to overcome hate.
According to one attorney we spoke to, the proclamation has no effect of law, but the implications of statements like: “Furthermore, we urge all members and residents of our community to treat each other with respect and work together to overcome all expressions of hate.” is problematic. Without any definitions in the proclamation it places the city of Hamilton in a precarious position.
The proclamation further provides an open door to enhancing local control over “Hate Speech”. Here again, there is no definition of “Hate Speech” found in the proclamation, therefore leaves open a direct conflict with the First Amendment Rights of the people.
The exclusion in the original draft of the proclamation of age and freedom of religion were grounds that solidified Mayor Farrenkoph’s reluctance to sign the document. His reference to trying to “Squeeze all the points of inclusion into this document provides for unknown points of concern to be popped out leaving those rights in jeopardy requiring the document to be regularly amended.
Mayor Farrenkoph specifically asked the council members if they were prepared to regularly visit the proclamation. No official vote on that question was taken, but the final vote by the council clearly showed that the intent on passing the proclamation was in order.
There are multiple communities across Montana looking at what is Critical Race Theory (CRT). This agenda being pushed by the federal government is based on political and social pressures. Christopher F. Rufo is founder and director of Battlefront, a public policy research center. in March 2021 Mr. Rufo provided a full explanation of CRT to assist people to fully understand the full context of what CRT is.
Many of the citizens that spoke at the city council meeting spoke directly to the connection of CRT to the proclamation. Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen officially denounced the push of CRT in Montana. Citizens we talked to after the meeting are looking at legal ways they can overturn actions by the council including action at the ballot box.
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