Breaking: Seven Protesters Arrested at the Montana State Capitol After Attempting to Shut Down Proceedings in Support of Trans Legislator
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These scenes are becoming all too familiar in state Houses across the country. Protesters are emboldened to behave badly on Capitol grounds in support of the cause of the day.
Most recently, the cause de jour is transgender rights as lawmakers attempt to protect children from receiving life-altering surgeries when they are too young to make such decisions.
Riot police had to step in at the Montana State Capitol building on Monday as protesters disrupted proceedings in the state House.
The protesters descended on the Capitol in support of Democrat Zooey Zephyr, a transgender, who was barred from speaking on the floor after telling lawmakers that they would have “blood on their hands” if they supported a bill to ban “gender-affirming” medical care for minors.
“Numerous supporters packed the observation gallery on Monday, as state lawmakers considered a raft of bills about LGTBQ+ people and voted to uphold a prohibition on Rep Zephyr speaking,” reported the Independent.
“Chants of, ‘Let her speak!’ rang out in the capitol hall. Rep Zephyr appeared to support the protesters, holding her non-functional microphone above her head and tapping her hand on her heart.”
According to the Independent Record, “Zephyr, last week said lawmakers who voted for legislation ‘should be ashamed.'”
“The only thing I will say is if you vote yes on this bill and yes on these amendments, I hope the next time there’s an invocation when you bow your heads in prayer, you see the blood on your hands,” Zephyr said referencing the legislative body’s opening prayer.
The police arrested more than five protesters, the Independent Record reports.
“Police units from the Montana Highway Patrol, and the Lewis and Clark county sheriff’s officers, were involved in the operation.”
“Zephyr, a bisexual and the first transgender lawmaker in Montana legislature history drew criticism Tuesday [ ] during a House floor debate on amendments to Senate Bill 99, which would prohibit sex change treatment for minors,” according to Fox News.
“I have stepped off the house floor to show support for those who were arrested defending democracy,” the Democrat tweeted on Monday afternoon following the arrests. “I will be back as soon as I can.”
“I want to be clear: no amount of silencing tactics will deter me from standing up for the rights of the transgender community,” Zephyr said following the censure.
“I will not apologize for speaking with clarity and precision about the harm these bills cause. Montana Republicans say they “I will not apologize for speaking with clarity and precision about the harm these bills cause. Montana Republicans say they want an apology, but what they really want is silence as they take away the rights of trans and queer Montanans.”want an apology, but what they really want is silence as they take away the rights of trans and queer Montanans.”
Who is trying to take away trans rights? Should we protest age requirements for tattoos or smoking or drinking alcohol?
Is this just another lawmaker putting on an act to take the spotlight and become the next social media sensation?
Are these tactics that she learned from the Tennessee Three? Will she be the next to get an invite from Joe and Kamala to the White House?
The showboating and protesting did not deter the passage of the bill, however. It passed in both the state House and Senate and will go to Montana Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte’s desk for signing on Friday.
He is expected to sign the bill making it state law, a win for the protection of children.