Montana GOP Has Banned Transgender Rep. Zooey Zephyr From Speaking for the Rest of the Legislative Session
Once again, Montana Republicans refuse to listen Zooey Zephyr.
After being shouted down by Republicans while trying to debate a harmful anti-trans bill, Zooey Zephyr has again come into the GOP’s crosshairs. But this time, they are not willing to listen to anything she has to say. And to ensure that, they have banned her from speaking on the legislative floor.
This is yet another battle in the GOP’s greater war on trans people, which has taken aim at everything from drag performances to trans athletes. According to an open letter from Zephyr, her Republican colleagues have banned her from speaking about any bill for the remainder of the legislative term. This completely undemocratic move follows on the heels of the passage of Senate Bill 458, which sets extremely narrow definitions for the word “sex” as it pertains to the law and, as Zephyr writes, “erases transgender, nonbinary, and two-spirit individuals from section 40 of Montana code.”
Zephyr’s Democratic constituents have staunchly declared their support for the lawmaker, yet their pleas remain unheard. The Montana GOP voted that the Speaker of The House is allowed to “refuse anyone” from speaking “without reason or explanation.” But they have a reason. They don’t want to hear a trans woman speak out against them. They simply don’t want to explain the quiet part out loud. Zooey Zephyr currently represents over 11,000 constituents, meaning that their voices are rendered silent as well.
Zephyr explains in her open letter that this is far from the first time the Montana GOP has taken direct action against the transgender community. This year alone, more than a dozen GOP-sponsored bills have emerged targeting everything from gender-affirming care to drag performance.
Zephyr goes on to say that she will remain undeterred in her fight to make trans voices heard, and will continue to support trans people and their families in these dark times. After all, bills like this are directly responsible for the uptick in violence against trans people this year. According to a recent study, trans people are four times as likely to be the victims of violence as cis people. This year has been no different. According to translivesmatter.com, 12 transgender and gender nonconforming people have been murdered in 2023 alone. A neo-Nazi group in Ohio recently used Molotov cocktails in an attempt to burn down a church that had hosted a drag show. The GOP fervor against the trans and greater LGBTQ community has also caused an increase in recruitment to various hate groups across America. Voices like Zooey Zephyr’s are vital to protect the trans community from the threat of physical violence. And yet the GOP will not listen. We’ll just have to shout louder, won’t we?
(featured image: screencap)
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