Republicans Vote to Expel Montana’s First State Legislator Who is Transgender.

Republicans Vote to Expel Montana's First State Legislator Who is Transgender.
Republicans Vote to Expel Montana's First State Legislator Who is Transgender.
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Republicans Vote to Expel Montana’s First State Legislator Who is Transgender.

On the House floor, Rep. Zooey Zephyr, a Democrat from Missoula, is the only one protesting while protesters are detained in the gallery on Monday. via AP, Thom Bridge/Independent Record Montana Rep. Zooey Zephyr, a Democrat and Montana’s first transgender state representative, was censured by the House Republicans on Wednesday.

Zephyr was censured by the House with a party-line vote of 68–32. She will continue in her post but won’t be allowed to take part in physical activities on the House floor. For the remainder of the legislative term, which ends on May 5, she will only be permitted to participate virtually in meetings and vote.

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Before the censure vote, Zephyr was given the opportunity to speak. She defended her remarks from last Tuesday, when she stated, “I hope the next time there’s an invocation, when you bow your heads in prayer, you see the blood on your hands,” in reference to a law that would limit transition-related care for children.

She said on Wednesday that the LGBTQ community has been “systematically attacked” by the Legislature and that she had been speaking up for it the week prior.

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“I have had friends who have taken their lives because of these bills,” she told the House. “I have fielded calls from families in Montana, including one family whose trans teenager attempted to take her life while watching a hearing on one of the anti-trans bills.”

So, Zephyr added, she was “not being hyperbolic” when she said “there is blood on your hands.”

“I was speaking to the real consequences of the votes that we as legislators take in this body,” she said. “When the speaker asks me to apologize on behalf of decorum, what he’s really asking me to do is be silent when my community is facing bills that get us killed. He’s asking me to be complicit in this Legislature’s eradication of our community, and I refuse to do so.”

She added, “If you use decorum to silence people who hold you accountable, then all you’re doing is using decorum as a tool of oppression.”

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