By Jackson Kincaid
Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte officially signed a bill into effect protecting minors from adults who would exploit them during mental health crises for gender reassignment surgery and hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
Montana Senate Bill 99 has officially been enacted. The legislation prohibits the use of puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and transgender surgeries for minors.
Gov. Gianforte stated this bill "protects Montana children from permanent, life-altering medical procedures until they are adults, mature enough to make such serious decisions."
This bill was passed not without protest from within. Rep. Zooey Zephyr, a transgender, was barred for the remainder of the session following incendiary comments and claiming this put “blood on the hands” of those who voted to pass this bill. Zephyr also claimed that withholding gender transition medical care from young people was equivalent to torture. House Speaker Matt Regier refused to let Zephyr speak on the House floor until “she” apologized. “She” has not.
Lambda Legal, the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Montana have said they would file a court challenge against the ban, which is set to take effect on Oct. 1st.
"I know that this is an unconstitutional bill. It is as cruel as it is unconstitutional. And it will go down in the courts." – Rep. Zooey Zephyr