Helena, Montana — The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization — blasted today’s vote in the Montana House of Representatives to approve HB361, legislation that allows students, teachers, and school personnel to refer to transgender students using names and pronouns other than those with which they identify. The legislation threatens to expose transgender students to even more bullying, intimidation, and harassment than they already experience today.
Human Rights Campaign State Legislative Director and Senior Counsel Cathryn Oakley issued the following statement today:
“Transgender kids deserve the same opportunity that every kid does – to grow up knowing that they are respected and valued for who they are. This cruel bill will make life even harder on transgender kids in Montana, making them feel alienated and ostracized at school – a place where they should have the chance to learn and grow in a welcoming environment.”
“All of us should be working to make sure that every child feels safe when they show up for school. This bill does the opposite. It should not become law.”
Less than two months into 2023, HRC is already tracking more than 340 anti-LGBTQ+ bills that have been introduced in statehouses across the country. 150 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:
90 bills that would prevent trans youth from being able to access age-appropriate, medically-necessary, best-practice health care; two have already become law, in Utah and South Dakota.
More bathroom ban bills filed than in any previous year,
And 28 anti-LGBTQ+ bills which have passed at least one chamber, 10 of which are specifically anti-trans.
House Bill 361 now heads to the Montana Senate for further consideration.
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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