Montana Politics

Knox and Peterson Together (But Not in a Gay Way)


In the seemingly never-ending battle between Republican members of the House to embarrass themselves and the state, two sterling candidates with unimpeachable reputations have stepped over a battlefield littered with gaffes, offensive remarks and unparalleled idiocy, to become the most embarrassing members of the House. Representatives James Knox and Ken Peterson, congratulations for your achievements to bring dishonor to our state.

Representative Peterson stuck with the GOP’s primary jobs agenda during the session: demonizing gay Montanans. As the Missoula Independent reports, Peterson is VERY WORRIED about the MENACE of HOMOSEXUAL RECRUITING:

Which situations? According to Peterson, chair of the House Judiciary Committee, there are at least two prosecutable offenses—felonies punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $50,000 fine. One is the "recruitment" of non-gays. "Homosexuals can’t go out into the heterosexual community and try to recruit people, or try to enlist them in homosexual acts," Peterson says. He provides an example: "’Here, young man, your hormones are raging. Let’s go in this bedroom, and we’ll engage in some homosexual acts. You’ll find you like it.’" Peterson hasn’t actually seen this happen, he says, because "I don’t associate with that group of people at all… I’ve associated with mainstream people all my life."

I know I promised to be careful about using language that demeans mental illness, but that is the most singularly bat-shit crazy thing anyone has uttered during this farce of a session, and, I would argue, suggests that Representative Peterson has a) the worst pickup lines of any human being who has ever lived, and b) some, shall we say, unresolved issues he may want to consider addressing.

Indefensible. Idiotic.

Representative Knox choose a more traditional approach: ungentlemanly conduct. I’m told that Knox chose not only to make a fool of himself at a legislative event last night (with pictures and video floating around the Internet), but his remarks about and behavior towards high school pages have been incredibly inappropriate. At least two reporters were looking into the story and interviewing today, and the Billings Gazette was fishing for more information:


Throw in some wildly offensive Facebook posts, and you’ve got a trifecta of “ungentlemanly” behavior.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see this story break wide open over the next couple of days.

These people are presenting themselves as representatives of not only Montanans, but some kind of spokesmen for moral living. These remarks and this kind of behavior demonstrate not only how wrong that assessment is, but how dangerous it is to put people like this in positions of power.

About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is a seventeen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.


  • That particular line, “young man, your hormones are raging/ lets go in this bedroom and engage in some homosexual acts,” is far more convincing to the tune of “YMCA”, though there’s too many syllables towards the end.

    But really, at the height of my hormones raging I can clearly recall being fanatically attracted to one sex and absolutely uninterested in the other. I can’t imagine going into a bedroom and finding out otherwise. I am always surprised by ostensibly ramrod-straight politicians who have apparently had a more confusing time of it.

  • I wonder the same thing. I’ve even hung out with people who aren’t “mainstream” in my life and have never been so confused about my sexual orientation that a pick-up line like that would work on me.

    • All joking aside, when we brought up that this is still on the GOP party platform, Coobs and others responded that it was much ado about nothing, that since the law was unenforceable we were wasting our time asking that the majority party not insist on its correctness. Representative Peterson apparently missed that memo.

  • Holy crap! Gay recruitment?? Is he serious? Ya know, I’m old, probably as old or older than Peterson. Been around this old world too. Been in an outta many ports of call so to speak, and spent my younger years full of raging hormones lookin’ for an outlet in many shady, less proper areas of the city. But by GOD I can’t ever remember running into a gay recruiter! Where the heck does a dude like Peterson FIND these gay recruiters? Near his ranch in Buffalo?? Closest encounter I can remember is a bar me and a buddy entered one time and found all guys. NO WOMEN! Being young and naive, we just thought that maybe the gals hadn’t showed up yet. We had a couple’a beers and moved on. Well, come to find out later, it was a gay bar. I didn’t even know such a thing existed! Anywho, no one tried to “recruit” us. It just didn’t/doesn’t happen. Peterson is full’a sheep dip.

  • How does Rep Peterson describe the recruitment of Rep Hansen to introduce the bill that would strip the rights away from gays in Missoula and Bozeman when she herself is gay. Her actions have already caused one divorce in Helena. The hypocracy has no limits with these fuckin repubs

  • “I don’t associate with that group of people at all… I’ve associated with mainstream people all my life.”

    That is so ignorant, it would be laughable if it wasn’t so destructive. Peterson must not understand that “that group of people” are not hidden away somewhere in the dark recesses only to move through the “mainstream” when they need to recruit some unsuspecting hetero by luring them into bed. Wake up Peterson. Gays ARE part of the mainstream (whatever that means).

    • You took my comment, Zena, although I’ll add that Mr. Peterson has certainly “associated” with that “group of people” but wasn’t aware of it. The gay people I know are all pretty mainstream. And, now here’s a surprise, they haven’t tried to “recruit” me!

  • Has the attache party already happened this session? That “young man” comment with the YMCA dancers and singers would bring down the house! At least, for those with a sense of humor. Keep in mind that Rep. Ken Peterson is a lawyer from Billings, Sen. Jim Peterson is the rancher from Buffalo, not related.

    I’m interested in the Hansen rumor, because it sounds like bunk. Are you saying she “recruited” a woman away from her marriage into a love affair, while carrying an anti-gay bill and taking all that heat in the press? Why would she do that? And are her recruiting efforts the reason for Peterson’s concern?

    Finally, here are the stats on sexual assault in America. 1 in 6 women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetimes. 1 in 35 men will be sexually assaulted. Over 75% of perpetrators are known to the victim. It happens to both sexes. And it is a crime regardless of whether heterosexual or homosexual, regardless of the state of the statute we are discussing.

  • I am really enjoying the theme/design of your website. Do you ever run into any web browser compatibility issues? A few of my blog visitors have complained about my blog not working correctly in Explorer but looks great in Safari. Do you have any solutions to help fix this problem?

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