Human Rights Campaign Blasts Montana Senate for Passing New Bill to Exclude LGBTQ+ People from Protections Under State Law

by HRC Staff

Helena, Montana — The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization — condemned today’s vote in the Montana Senate to pass S. 458, legislation that adopts a discriminatory and unworkable definition of sex aimed at excluding LGBTQ+ people from the protections of state law with a particularly harmful impact on intersex, nonbinary and transgender people. The bill would prohibit LGBTQ+ people from bringing claims of sexual orientation or gender identity discrimination in areas like employment, housing, public accommodations, health care, credit, and education. It would also require applications and records such as marriage license, death certificates, cemetery interment records, and child support registration to list sex based on type of gametes, eggs, or sperm rather than gender identity. The bill doubles down on the state ban on transgender students participating in sports consistent with their gender identity and the ban on marriage for same-sex couples (which is unenforceable).

Human Rights State Legislative Director and Senior Counsel Cathryn Oakley issued the following statement today:

“By adopting a legal definition of sex that is designed to exclude transgender people - a definition that is unscientific and imprecise as well as counter to the recent interpretation of the term by the United States Supreme Court - Montana would be inserting discrimination in dozens of places throughout state law. Transgender people are already disproportionately marginalized, and this bill would attempt to legislate them out of existence. Extremist politicians who lack even the most basic medical training should stick to their day jobs and stop trying to legislate their personal beliefs.”

A few months into 2023, HRC is already tracking more than 410 anti-LGBTQ+ bills that have been introduced in statehouses across the country. 175 of those would specifically restrict the rights of transgender people, the highest number of bills targeting transgender people in a single year to date.

So far this year, HRC is tracking:

  • More than 100 bills that would prevent trans youth from being able to access age-appropriate, medically-necessary, best-practice health care; five have already become law, in Mississippi, Tennessee, South Dakota, Utah, and Arkansas.

  • More bathroom ban bills filed than in any previous year (more than 25),

  • And 65+ anti-LGBTQ+ bills which have passed at least one chamber, 25 of which are specifically anti-trans.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ+ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

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