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HELENA – The proposed ballot initiative requiring people to use restrooms corresponding to their sex at birth is facing another hurdle.

The Helena City Commission decided last week it will oppose Initiative 183, but the commission needs to figure out the best way to do it.

This comes after the the American Civil Liberties Union announced earlier this month it will sue to stop the ballot initiative.

Helena City Commissioner Andres Haladay said the city is deciding whether or not to join the ACLU lawsuit or whether to align with outside counsel like the Montana League of Cities and Towns.

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However, Haladay added that the issue goes deeper than just who ought to be allowed to use what bathroom. For Haladay and other commissioners, it’s a matter than encroaches on the city’s jurisdiction.

“It’s just important for the city to challenge ballot initiates like this that actually invade on the city’s independent constitutional status, and I think that’s what the whole commission saw in that – regardless of the substantive matter,” Haladay said.

Haladay also added the commission will likely put forward a resolution to join the ACLU lawsuit in the next two weeks.

Initiative 183 would require government entities to designate a protected facility in a government building or public schools for use only by members of one sex. The Act would also prohibit people from using a protected facility that was not designated for his or her sex.

Supporters of the bill are currently gathering signatures for a petition to put the initiative on the ballot in November 2018. They need to collect more than 25,000 signatures to put the measure before voters.

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