Montana Republicans have voted to bar transgender Democratic lawmaker Zooey Zephyr from the House chamber after she spoke out against a proposed bill that would ban gender-affirming care for transgender youth in Montana. The backlash against Zephyr, the first openly transgender lawmaker elected in the state of Montana, started after she said lawmakers would have “blood on their hands” if they restricted medical care for transgender youth. Republicans accused her of stoking violence and violating the chamber’s decorum with her comment.
The measure bars Zephyr from being present on the House floor, anteroom, or galleries. She will only be allowed to participate in votes remotely. Republicans claimed that her actions put lawmakers and staff “at risk of harm”. This move is the latest escalation in a heated culture-war debate playing out across the US over transgender rights.
Zephyr, who represents the Missoula area, said she stood by her remarks and there was “blood on the legislature’s hands”. She accused the legislature of refusing to allow her to speak on the floor since her speech. On Monday, protesters who support Zephyr gathered at the state capitol in Helena and chanted, “Let her speak!” A handful of protesters were arrested.
Re-reported from the story originally published in https://www.bbc.com/