Montana: State of Exception

So this map of discrimination against gays and lesbians in the workplace is making the rounds.  Which prompts the following questions.

In how many states can you be fired for being gay? 29

In how many states can you be fired for good reasons, bad reasons, or no reason at all? 49

Which state is the exception? This one.

Update (10:30 pm)

Shawn Gude directs me to this study of Montana’s just cause employment law. I haven’t read it but it looks good.


  1. Sheldon August 23, 2012 at 11:45 pm | #

    “This one” link is broken

  2. Filip Spagnoli August 24, 2012 at 2:53 am | #

    Some more detailed maps about this are here:

  3. Leslie dePietro August 24, 2012 at 8:37 am | #

    Sorry, it’s not fixed. Also, the map shows Montana in red (with other states who discriminate)–so how exactly is this state the exception???

    • Corey Robin August 24, 2012 at 8:44 am | #

      Hmm, when I click on the link,it’s fixed,so I don’t know what the problem is for you. As for Montana being an exception, see my second and third questions.

  4. Theo August 24, 2012 at 11:31 am | #

    “this one” has wrong link

    • Corey Robin August 24, 2012 at 1:35 pm | #

      No, it doesn’t; that is the link I wanted. It’s to the Montana Code, Title 39, ch. 2, part 9.

  5. jonnybutter August 24, 2012 at 10:51 pm | #

    it’s the ‘for being gay’ link that’s broken… ; )

  6. Jeremy August 25, 2012 at 3:32 pm | #

    It’s missing the colon after the “http”

    I wonder if this has been successfully used to prevent employees from being fired for being gay. It certainly seems like it would work, but I have no idea how things work out in practice.

    This reminds me of the (I think, my books are all in boxes at the moment) Marine Cooks and Stewards Union back in the Forties. After the radical leftists took over the union and desegregated it, they also started elevating openly (at least by the standards of the times) gay people, who were a significant portion of marine stewards, to leadership positions. They won what was supposedly the first job protections for gay employees by limiting fireable offenses to the ones spelled out in the union contract. Homosexuality wasn’t in the contract, and thus wasn’t a fireable expense. The sign in the MCSU union hall read “Red baiting, race baiting and queer baiting are anti-union.” Naturally, the union was pretty much destroyed in the McCarthy era, largely by red-baiting, and, I’m guessing, race-baiting and queer-baiting thrown in.

    • Jeremy August 25, 2012 at 3:48 pm | #

      A little bit of Googling turns up that it was called the National Union of Marine Cooks and Stewards. Here’s a good history of their radicalism

      I can’t find anything good online about the gay rights angle, but I know that historian Allan Bérubé has written about it.

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