Montana trans lawmaker Zooey Zephyr sues state over censure


(HELENA, Mont.) — Montana state legislator Zooey Zephyr is suing the state, House Speaker Matt Regier and Sergeant at Arms for the Montana House of Representatives Bradley Murfitt after being censured by House Republicans.

“The recent actions violate my 1st amendment rights, as well as the rights of my 11,000 constituents to representation,” Zephyr said in a tweet Monday. “Montana’s State House is the people’s House, not Speaker Regier’s, and I’m determined to defend the right of the people to have their voices heard.”

Zephyr’s calls to vote against a gender-affirming care ban for transgender youth on bill SB99 prompted days of being ignored by Republican leaders on the House floor in April.

Some legislators, including Regier, argued she had broken House rules of decorum when she said legislators would have “blood on your hands” if they passed the transgender youth care ban.

Demonstrators in support of Zephyr interrupted House business several days later to protest her being silenced. Zephyr showed her support by holding up her mic and failing to leave the House floor.

House Republicans voted to censure her in response, getting just over the two-thirds needed to bar her from participating in the legislature from the House floor.

Zephyr has since participated from the public seating in the state Capitol building.

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