Human Rights Campaign Condemns Montana Senate Vote That Could Force Schools to Out LGBTQ+ Students

by HRC Staff

Helena, Montana — The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization — slammed today’s vote in the Montana Senate to pass S.B. 518, legislation that requires schools to receive parental permission before a student uses a new name, nickname, or pronouns that are perceived as not matching the student's assigned gender at birth. The bill also allows for the intentional misgendering and deadnaming of transgender and non-binary students by their teachers and peers. In addition, parents would be permitted to withdraw their children from school if they object to a lesson on that day.

Human Rights Campaign Legislative Counsel Courtnay Avant released the following statement:

“It’s outrageous that politicians in the Montana Senate have passed a bill that creates a hostile school climate for transgender kids who just want the same opportunity that every kid wants - to learn and grow in a safe and welcoming environment. This bill will only make it more likely for transgender and non-binary kids, an already vulnerable group, to feel stigmatized and marginalized, and it must not become law in Montana.”

So far in 2023, HRC is tracking more than 470 anti-LGBTQ+ bills that have been introduced in statehouses across the country. More than 190 of those bills would specifically restrict the rights of transgender people, the highest number of bills targeting transgender people in a single year to date.

This year, HRC is tracking:

  • More than 110 bills that would prevent trans youth from being able to access age-appropriate, medically-necessary, best-practice health care; this year, nine have already become law in Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, South Dakota, Utah, Iowa, Georgia, Kentucky and now West Virginia.

  • More than 25 bathroom ban bills filed,

  • More than 85 curriculum censorship bills and 40 anti-drag performance bills.

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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