Trans Montana Lawmaker Suing Legislature

State Rep. Zooey Zephyr (D-Missoula) is suing after the GOP-led Montana House of Representatives censured the transgender lawmaker last week.

“This is an action for emergency declaratory and injunctive relief against Defendants arising out of their unconstitutional Censure and retaliatory silencing of Representative Zooey Zephyr, a member of the Montana House of Representatives who engaged in Constitutionally protected speech,” the lawsuit states.

I’m suing.

The recent actions violate my 1st amendment rights, as well as the rights of my 11,000 constituents to representation.

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.

— Rep. Zooey Zephyr (@ZoAndBehold) May 1, 2023

The legislature voted to bar Zephyr, a biological man who identifies as a woman, from attending or speaking at floor sessions after the lawmaker held up a microphone as supporters disrupted the proceedings in the Montana House chamber while chanting, “Let her speak!” The commotion led to several arrests.

That standoff took place as Republican leadership refused to recognize Zephyr to speak, citing violations of decorum rules after Zephyr lashed out at other lawmakers who support legislation that would crack down on transgender surgeries for minors.


“I hope the next time there’s an invocation when you bow your heads in prayer, you see the blood on your hands,” Zephyr had said, referring to the opening prayer.

The censure still allowed Zephyr to vote remotely for the remainder of the session, which is set to end this week.

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