Montana Freedom Caucus Calls For Zephyr's Censure
Montana Freedom Caucus Calls For Zephyr's Censure

Montana Freedom Caucus Calls For Zephyr’s Censure!

A group of Republican lawmakers in Montana has demanded that the state’s single transgender state representative be impeached immediately for delivering a fiery speech in opposition to a bill prohibiting children from receiving gender-affirming health treatment.

The Montana Freedom Caucus, which includes Republican House and Senate members, issued a social media statement demanding that State Rep. Zooey Zephyr (D-Missoula) be censured for “using inappropriate and uncalled-for language” during floor debate on amendments to the bill recommended by Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte.

One of those modifications firmly defines male and female, based solely on a person’s biological traits at birth – thereby barring any acknowledgment of transse*ual identity.

During floor debate, Zephyr warned lawmakers that they might encourage transgender youth who feel lonely or discriminated against because of their gender identification to commit su*cide.

According to The Trevor Project’s 2022 poll, more than half of transgender and nonbinary youth have seriously considered su*cide in the previous year.

Montana Freedom Caucus Calls For Zephyr's Censure

“If you are forcing a trans child to go through puberty when they are trans, that is tantamount to torture. This body should be ashamed,” Zephyr said. “If you vote yes on this bill and yes on these amendments, I hope the next time there’s an invocation when you bow your heads in prayer, you see the blood on your hands.”

During the floor debate, House Majority Leader Sue Vinton (R-Billings) blasted Zephyr’s remarks, saying the legislature will “not be shamed by anyone in this chamber.” We are superior to that.”

“We can debate matters civilly and with respect for each other,” Vinton added.

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The bill was passed with an overwhelming 66-34 vote and now goes to Gianforte for his signature.

Zephyr later backed up her initial comments on Twitter, tweeting a copy of a letter from an emergency department doctor who highlighted reservations about the measure.

“When I said there is blood on their hands, I meant it,” Zephyr tweeted. “All legislators (& the Gov) received a letter from an ER doctor who dealt w/ a su*cide attempt from a trans teen who cited OUR LEGISLATURE as a factor in their suicidality. ‘My state doesn’t want me,’ is what they said.”

However, the Freedom Caucus has taken issue with Zephyr’s remarks, calling them “hateful rhetoric” that can lead to violence.

The caucus cited a recent school massacre in Tennessee that ki!!ed six people to make its point. In that case, the shooter, 28-year-old Audrey Hale, who was fatally shot by police, was transgender — however, it is unknown whether Hale’s gender identity had a factor in the reason for the att@ck.

“This kind of hateful rhetoric from an elected official is exactly why tragedies such as the Covenant Christian School shooting in Nashville occurred,” the Freedom Caucus wrote in its statement demanding censure. “Combined with former Montana Supreme Court Justice Jim Nelson’s recent calls for ‘jihad’ and a ‘fight to the death,’ there is unmistakeable evidence of a desire for some to engage in violence over political beliefs. This must stop.”

In its statement, the Freedom Caucus also misgendered Zephyr by referring to her with male pronouns. In response, Zephyr cited the misgendering as evidence that their purported outrage over her comments was phony.

“It is disheartening that the Montana Freedom Caucus would stoop so low as to misgender me in their letter, further demonstrating their disregard for the dignity and humanity of transgender individuals,” she said. “Their call for ‘civility and respect’ is hypocritical given their actions. In response to the Montana Freedom Caucus’ call for my censure, I stand by my accurate description of the devastating consequences of banning essential medial care for transgender youth.”

Zephyr told Fox News that the bill to prohibit gender-affirming care is “part of an alarming trend of anti-trans legislation” in the state.

“These bills ban our art forms, our stories, our healthcare, and our very existence in Montana code,” She went on to mention measures that would outlaw drag shows and prevent transgender people from having their gender identity recognized by the state or changing the gender marker on essential documents. “Policy by policy, Republicans are legislating the eradication of queer and transgender people from public life.”

The Freedom Caucus’ call comes just over a month after Republicans in Oklahoma voted to censure State Rep. Mauree Turner (D-Oklahoma City), the nation’s first openly nonbinary state legislator, for allowing an individual arrested protesting a ban on gender-affirming care to hide in their office.

It also follows a vote by Tennessee lawmakers to expel two Black Democratic colleagues — and attempt to expel a white female Democratic state representative — for engaging in “disorderly and disruptive conduct” when they participated in a demonstration, along with protesters in the House gallery, demanding legislation imposing more significant restrictions on firearms.

Following the expulsions, some commentators questioned whether it would prompt other legislative bodies to pursue similar disciplinary proceedings against lawmakers who speak out strongly against the majority’s policies, even if only to score political points and silence opposition.

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