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Kathleen O’Donnell
Laurel, MT

While looking for a place to rent and call home at an open house in Montana, Kathleen O’Donnell asked a landlord for an application. The landlord looked at Kathleen and asked who else would be living in the house, and when she explained that her fiancée Casey and their son would also be living there…and that Casey is a woman, the landlord looked Kathleen directly in the eye and said, “I do not rent to your kind.”

Kathleen had previously worked at a car dealership in Billings, following nearly two years at a similar dealership in Laurel and a previous years-long run in the United States Army National Guard. She worked hard, pulling long hours and exceeding her sales goals. Shortly into her employment in Billings, she was even promoted, serving in the new position and doing it well alongside people with many more years of experience. But a few days before her six-month probationary period ended, Kathleen was approached by her manager, with whom she had a good rapport. “He admitted that the new owner and his son ‘did not like me,’” Kathleen remembered. “I was to be terminated before Monday.” When Kathleen asked why she wasn’t well-liked, her manager explained, ‘Because you are gay.’ “No one should have to endure the humiliation, fear, and loss of income that come from anti-LGBTQ discrimination,” Kathleen explained. “It’s time for us all to put our foot down.”

Read More Stories By:  Freedom for All Americans

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