Police Arrest Seven Protesters Who Shut Down Montana State House In Response To Trans Lawmaker’s Censure


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Mary Lou Masters Contributor
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Police arrested seven protesters Monday after they forced Montana’s state House to postpone its legislative session following the censure of a first-term Democratic transgender lawmaker, according to YourBigSky.com.

State Rep. Zooey Zephyr, a transgender who goes by “she/her” pronouns, spoke out against the House GOP’s efforts to curb gender reassignment surgeries for minors last Tuesday, and told the Republicans they have “blood on their hands,” prompting the Montana Freedom Caucus’ call for Zephyr’s censure, according to YourBigSky.com. Protesters shouted “let her speak” and waved pride flags in support of Zephyr when she was suspended from speaking on a proposal to restrict when children can change their names and pronouns in school requiring parental consent.

“When my constituents and community members witnessed my microphone being disabled, they courageously came forward to defend their democratic right to be heard – and some were arrested in the process,” Zephyr said in a statement. “I stood by them in solidarity and will continue to do so. As an elected representative, I am devoted to supporting those who speak in defense of democracy, as it is my duty to ensure their voices are heard and respected.” (RELATED: Transgender Montana Rep ‘Will Not Be Recognized’ Unless Apology Issued For ‘Hate-Filled’ Testimony)

Zephyr proclaimed her outrage last Tuesday with the amendments to Senate Bill 99 that would ban sex-changing procedures on minors, slamming Republicans. The House ended up voting for the amendments 66-34, and the Montana Freedom Caucus issued a statement calling for the censure of the Democratic lawmaker.

“The only thing I will say is if you vote yes on this bill and yes on these amendments I hope the next time there’s an invocation when you bow your heads in prayer, you see the blood on your hands,” Zephyr said.

Republican House Speaker Matt Regier would no longer acknowledge Zephyr after her “hate-filled” rhetoric toward the House GOP following last Thursday’s deliberation on an amended bill to define what a male and female is in state code.

“It is up to me to maintain decorum here on the House floor, to protect the dignity and integrity,” Regier said. “And any representative that I don’t feel can do that will not be recognized.”

Political tension continues to mount over the gender transitioning of minors with states fighting back. Wyoming parents are suing a school for allegedly transitioning their child without their knowledge, Pennsylvania Republican legislators are calling out mental health care providers for “affirm[ing]” transgender ideology and Iowa is working to keep gender ideology and sexual orientation out of K – 6 classrooms.

“When those communities who see the repercussions of those bills have the audacity to stand up and say, ‘This legislation gets us killed,’ those in power aren’t content with just passing those hateful harmful bills,” Zephyr said earlier Monday, per YourBigSky.com. “What they are demanding is silence. We will not be complicit in our eradication.”

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include additional information.

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