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Rally attendees urge Montana House Speaker to recognize transgender Representative

Rally attendees urge Montana House Speaker to recognize transgender Representative
Zephyr Petition
Rally attendees urge Montana House Speaker to recognize transgender Representative
Posted at 12:40 PM, Apr 24, 2023

(UPDATE) A group of supporters shouted "Let her speak" from the House gallery after a vote upholding Regier's decision not to recognize Zephyr when she attempted to speak on Monday afternoon.

Law enforcement officers cleared the gallery. Zephyr left the House floor "to show support for those who were arrested defending democracy," according to a tweet.

Several people were arrested out of the approximately 100 protesters in the gallery.

When protesters refused instructions to leave, officers continued making arrests and pushed the remaining protesters out of the gallery.

The exact number of people arrested and the charges they might face are not known at this time.

Jurisdiction for the Capitol falls under the Montana Highway Patrol, and the arrested protesters will be processed at the Lewis & Clark Detention Center.



(1st REPORT) On Monday, supporters of Montana state representative Zoey Zephyr of Missoula rallied in front of the Capitol in Helena and delivered a petition to Montana House Speaker Matt Regier's office.

The petition urges Regier to recognize Zephyr on the House floor.

Tensions have escalated since the conservative Montana Freedom Caucus called for Zephyr's censure following comments during a debate on amendments to a bill that would ban gender-affirming medical care for minors in the state.

During the debate Zephyr told lawmakers that if they voted for the bill: "I hope the next time there is an invocation, when you bow your head in prayer, you see the blood on your hands."

Protest at Montana Legislature over silencing of trans Representative

While Regier did not officially censure Zephyr, who is a transgender woman, she has not been allowed to speak on the House floor since last week.

At noon on Monday, supporters delivered a petition to Speaker Regier with more than 3,000 names in support of Zephyr. Supporters stretched the document from the Montana House to the Capitol rotunda.


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EXTENDED INTERVIEWS WITH ZEPHYR AND REGIER:

EXTENDED INTERVIEW: MT Rep. Zooey Zephyr of Missoula


EXTENDED INTERVIEW: MT Speaker of the House Matt Regier