Supporters of expelled transgender Democrat Zooey Zephyr disrupted the meeting to show their solidarity with her.
Riot police were deployed to the Montana state house after left-wing protesters shut down House of Representatives business in favor of transgender Democrat Zooey Zephyr, who was censured by the body last week.
Authorities from Lewis and Clark County sheriff’s office and Montana Highway Patrol reportedly began plotting a strategy on Monday to remove the protestors who had congregated in the House chamber’s viewing box. It is unclear how many protesters were really arrested.
Another version of events has the audience yelling “Let her speak!” for “nearly half an hour,” at which point the hearing is suspended and Zephyr’s case is abandoned.
Zephyr, who is bisexual, is the first transgender person to serve in the Montana legislature. She was reprimanded on Tuesday during debate on amendments to Senate Bill 99 for stating that Republicans have “blood on their hands” if they vote against a restriction on sex change therapy for minors.
If you vote yes on this bill and these changes, I hope the next time there is an invocation and you bow your heads in prayer, you see the blood on your hands,” Zephyr stated in reference to the assembly’s opening prayer.
On Thursday, lawmakers in the House agreed to reject Zephyr’s “hate-filled testimony.”
Zephyr said after her punishment, “I want to make it clear that I will stand up for the rights of the transgender community no matter what.”I will not apologize for saying how bad these allegations are what they are. The Republicans in Montana say they want an apology, but what they really want is for everyone to be quiet so they can take away the rights of trans and LGBT Montanans.
Finally, on Friday, the bill was submitted to Republican Governor Greg Gianforte’s office after having passed both houses of the legislature. If he puts his signature on it, it will become law right away.