ACLU Condemns Baseless Censure of State Rep. Zooey Zephyr
HELENA – The American Civil Liberties Union the ACLU of Montana roundly condemned a vote by the Montana House of Representatives baselessly prolonging the de facto censure of Montana State Representative Zooey Zephyr (HD-100) and denying her constituents adequate representation in state government.
The vote unfairly targeted Rep. Zephyr for voicing her objection to proposed House bills aimed at restricting the rights of transgender youth and their families to access gender-affirming health care. The ACLU, the ACLU of Montana, and Lambda Legal have promised to challenge any such ban in court should it become law.
“This is an anti-democratic effort by House leadership to censor one of their own colleagues for using her voice and platform to represent her constituents,” said Keegan Medrano, Policy Director of the ACLU of Montana. “Rep. Zephyr is a duly-elected member of the legislature and entitled to represent the people of their district. In voting to take away her microphone, the House is attempting to silence Montanans and trans people from speaking to the harm of all these bills. This is another shameful day in our state’s history and we’re determined to protect every transgender Montanans from these vile, bigoted attacks on their dignity and equality.”
"There is a name for when elected officials attack and silence other elected officials they don't agree with to prevent them from fulfilling their duties - it's called authoritarianism," said Deirdre Schifeling, National Political Director at the ACLU. "Freedom of speech is essential to our democracy. Trans people are an essential part of our democracy — both as voters and lawmakers — and must be defended."