Montana transgender lawmaker silenced again, backers protest

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04/25/2023

Montana Republicans persisted in forbidding Democratic transgender lawmaker Zooey Zephyr from participating in debate for a second week and her supporters brought the House session to a halt Monday — chanting “Let her speak!” from the gallery before they were escorted out. Zephyr defiantly hoisted her microphone into the air as her supporters interrupted proceedings for nearly half an hour in protest of Republicans denying her requests to speak on a proposal that would restrict when children can change the names and pronouns they use in school and require parental consent. The interruption — hours after supporters rallied on the Capitol steps — was the latest development in a standoff over Zephyr’s remarks against lawmakers who support a ban on gender-affirming care for minors. Zephyr, a first-term Democrat from Missoula, hasn’t spoken on the Statehouse floor since last Tuesday when she told Republican colleagues they would have “blood on their hands” if they banned gender-affirming medical care for transgender youth.

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