ICYMI: Montana Senate Passes Bill that Allows Intentional Misgendering of LGBTQ+ Students; Human Rights Campaign Calls on Governor Gianforte to Veto

by HRC Staff

"This Dangerous Bill is Intentionally Designed to Isolate, Stigmatize, and Belittle Transgender and Non-Binary Students in Montana"

Helena, Montana — The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization — slammed the Montana Senate’s passage of HB 361, which allows for the intentional misgendering and deadnaming of transgender and non-binary students by their peers. The bill now heads to Governor Gianforte for consideration

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

“This dangerous bill is intentionally designed to isolate, stigmatize, and belittle transgender and non-binary students in Montana. These kids are doing their best to learn, grow, and fit in with their peers. Yet extremist lawmakers are doing everything in their power to create a hostile classroom, instead of an inclusive one. There is legitimately no good that comes from this bill, only harm. We call on Governor Gianforte to reject this legislation.”

So far in 2023, HRC is opposing more than 490 anti-LGBTQ+ bills that have been introduced in statehouses across the country. More than 200 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 115 bills that would prevent transgender youth from being able to access age-appropriate, medically-necessary, best-practice health care; this year, eleven have already become law in Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, South Dakota, Utah, Iowa, Idaho, Indiana, Georgia, Kentucky, and West Virginia.

  • More than 25 bathroom ban bills filed,

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

In a coordinated push led by national anti-LGBTQ+ groups, which deployed vintage discriminatory tropes, politicians in statehouses across the country introduced 315 discriminatory anti-LGBTQ+ bills in 2022 and 29 passed into law. Despite this, fewer than 10% of these efforts succeeded. The majority of the discriminatory bills – 149 bills – targeted the transgender and non-binary community, with the majority targeting children receiving the brunt of discriminatory legislation. By the end of the 2022 legislative session, a record 17 bills attacking transgender and non-binary children passed into law.

Anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in 2022 took several forms, including:

  • 80 bills aimed to prevent transgender youth from playing school sports consistent with their gender identity. 19 states now exclude transgender athletes in school sports.

  • 42 bills to prevent transgender and non-binary youth from receiving life-saving, medically-necessary gender-affirming healthcare. 5 states now restrict access to gender-affirming care.

  • 70 curriculum censorship bills tried to turn back the clock and restrict teachers from discussing LGBTQ+ issues and other marginalized communities in their classrooms. 7 passed into law.

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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