Sierra Club Condemns Censure Of Montana Rep. Zooey Zephyr

Caryn Miske, Montana Sierra Club Executive Director, 

Noah Rott, Associate Press Secretary,

HELENA, MT -- Yesterday, the Montana House of Representatives voted to ban Representative Zooey Zephyr, a transgender lawmaker, from the House floor, anteroom, or gallery for the rest of the session after she spoke out against proposed legislation to ban gender-affirming care for trans youth. House Republicans began purposefully silencing Rep. Zephyr last Thursday and voted on Monday to continue disallowing her to speak. Rep. Zephyr’s constituents and supporters were arrested on Monday during a peaceful protest of the vote. Montana Republicans used unprecedented means to push bills targeting the state's environmental protections, public participation, and democracy this session. To date, 11 other states have passed similarly extreme anti-trans legislation. 

In response, Sierra Club Executive Director Ben Jealous and Sierra Club Montana Chapter Director Caryn Miske issued the following statement: 

“By voting to censure Rep. Zephyr, the Montana Republican party is undemocratically silencing a duly-elected Representative and the constituents she represents. This unprecedented, blatantly transphobic attack is a direct threat to our democracy, and we strongly condemn this vote and the dangerous precedent it sets for our state and the country. The people of Montana deserve better. We commend Rep. Zephyr’s diligence in representing her constituents and her courage in speaking out against harmful bills impacting LGBTQ2S+ Montanans.

“The Sierra Club supports Rep. Zephyr and her right to represent the community that elected her. We call on Speaker Matt Regier and Montana House Republicans to fully reinstate Rep. Zephyr immediately, and Governor Gianforte to condemn this decision.”