Premieres 12/1 at 8pm ET
Watch exclusively on DailyWire+
A transgender state lawmaker lashed out at colleagues during a debate on a bill to ban transgender surgeries for minors.
Montana State Rep. Zooey Zephyr (D-Missoula), a transgender person, lashed out at Republican lawmakers in the state on Tuesday while the state House of Representatives debated amendments to a bill banning transgender surgery for minors. Zephyr said the lawmakers had “blood on their hands.” Republicans in turn moved to censure Zephyr for the comments.
“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.
Rep Zooey Zephyr of Missoula said the following when debating SB99 Amendments.
“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.” pic.twitter.com/wuhlympbLq
— Montana Freedom Caucus (@MTFreedomCaucus) April 18, 2023
The Montana Freedom Caucus, a group of more than 20 conservative state legislators, called for Zephyr to be censured for the comments. “The Montana Freedom Caucus demands Representative Zooey Zephyr of Missoula’s House District 100 be censured by the House for attempting to shame the Montana legislative body and by using inappropriate and uncalled-for language during a floor debate over amendments concerning Senate Bill 99 — to ban sex changes of minor children,” the Montana Freedom Caucus wrote in a press release. “This bill already passed the Montana House and Senate, and the debate was over amendments requested by the governor. The amendments were concurred in on a 66-34 vote. This bill is important because it protects minor children from forced life-altering and unnecessary surgical procedures.”
“While individual legislators have condemned his behavior, the legislature itself has not yet issued a collective statement acknowledging the wrongdoing and upholding a commitment to civil discourse,” the lawmakers continued. “This kind of hateful rhetoric from an elected official is exactly why tragedies such as the Covenant Christian School shooting in Nashville occurred.”
They also cited a former Montana Supreme Court justice who called Republican-backed judicial reforms a “jihad” and a “fight to the death.” “[T]here is unmistakable evidence of a desire for some to engage in violence over political beliefs,” the group concluded. “This must stop.”
The Montana State Senate passed Senate Bill 99 in late March. The bill would ban puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and transgender surgery for minors. It also bans state Medicaid funds from covering transgender medication or surgery. Violators would be liable to losing their license for a period of one year. Montana Governor Greg Gianforte line-item vetoed the bill, and returned the bill to the legislature affirming his support for the bill while requesting amendments.
“As currently written, Senate Bill 99 provides an imprecise definition of ‘male’ and ‘female,’” Gianforte wrote. “As currently written, the bill does not contemplate treatment for a child requiring a necessary medical procedure because he or she was born with a medically verifiable disorder of sex development. Finally, as currently written, the bill is unclear about public funding restrictictions.”
The governor’s amendments included amended defintions that reinforce the binary between male and female, provide carve-outs for necessary medical treatments like menopause or cancer requiring removal of sex organs, and clarify that public funding may not be used on any transgender medical treatment.