HELENA, Montana (LifeSiteNews) — Republicans in the Montana House of Representatives officially voted to censure a transgender-identifying legislator for the duration of the session after he violated House rules with a histrionic accusation that Republicans protecting kids from irreversible trans drugs and surgeries had “blood on your hands.”
House members approved the measure to punish gender-confused first-term Democratic state Rep. “Zooey” Zephyr in a 68-32 vote Wednesday. Zephyr is thereby barred from participating in debates for the duration of the legislative session, which ends next week, though he can still vote remotely.
Just before the House voted to censure him, Zephyr attempted to defend his previous statements, arguing “was not being hyperbolic” and continuing to insist that bills protecting kids from irreversible trans interventions are getting his “community… killed.”
The move to censure Zephyr came after the transgender-identifying lawmaker expressed strong opposition to a Montana bill that would prohibit destructive puberty-blockers, cross-sex hormones, and mutilating transgender surgeries for minors. Many other states have passed similar laws in a bid to protect children from the irreversible effects of the experimental interventions.
Montana’s bill, SB99, was returned to the legislature for amendments by the state’s Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte earlier this month.
As LifeSiteNews previously, reported, Zephyr said “forcing” transgender-identifying children to undergo natural puberty “is tantamount to torture,” and if his colleagues “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.”
Rep. Zephyr pointed to high rates of suicidality among transgender-identifying youth as the reason for his claim, despite the fact that existing research does not suggest that transgender drugs and surgeries work to cut back the drastically increased risk of suicidality associated with the cohort and may even amplify it. Moreover, more than four out of five children suffering from gender dysphoria will outgrow it by late adolescence, studies indicate.
In response to the remarks, Republicans in the 20-member Montana Freedom Caucus released a statement demanding that Zephyr be censured over the “hateful rhetoric.”
In their press release, the caucus said Zephyr should “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.”
“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 statement read. “This kind of hateful rhetoric from an elected official is exactly why tragedies such as the Covenant Christian School shooting in Nashville occurred.”
“When the speaker gaveled down the people demanding that democracy work, demanding that their representative be heard, when he gaveled down, what he was doing was driving a nail in the coffin of democracy,” he said in a Wednesday statement.
For their part, Republicans have argued that Zephyr had been “standing in the middle of the floor encouraging an insurrection after all members were told to move to the sides and clear the House gallery to remain in a safe location.”