The majority Republican legislator in the US state of Montana has barred the only transgender member from sessions of the House of Representatives. MP Zooey Zephyr will still be able to vote, but will no longer be able to attend chamber meetings in person until the end of the session on May 5, MPs decided on Wednesday.
It is the latest escalation in US conservatives’ fight against the rights of queer people in the US. Zephyr said during a debate about legislation to ban sex reassignment hormone therapy and surgery on transgender minors that those in favor of such a ban had “blood on their hands.”
She was referring to studies that showed that such therapies reduce the risk of suicide among transgender adolescents. With the statement she violated the morals of the parliamentary chamber, so the accusation that led to her expulsion.
More than a dozen Republican-ruled states in the United States have banned sex reassignment therapy for adolescents in whole or in part. Many of these bans were only enacted in the past few months. They illustrate the deepening rifts between conservative and progressive forces in the United States. The debate about the rights of queer people is one of the focal points of this debate.
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