Montana Attorney General: Anti-trans law will prevent 'havoc for criminal justice data'

Montana Attorney General: Anti-trans law will prevent 'havoc for criminal justice data'
Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen, Image via Twitter.

Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen made false claims about transgender people during a Newsmax interview Thursday.

The Recount shared a clip of Knudsen's interview via Twitter, writing, "Montana AG Austin Knudsen claims the state must pass a bill defining sex as either male or female because of 'criminal records': 'If you're someone who has decided halfway through your life to 'change your gender,' that creates all kinds of havoc for criminal justice data.'"

The AG also said, "Just from a criminal justice date standpoint, we have to be able to have solid data on whether you're a male or a female for criminal records. When someone's pulled over or if there's an arrest, we have to be able to pull that criminal record."

READ MORE: 'Let her speak!' 7 arrested in protest over Montana GOP’s silencing of trans lawmaker

Knudsen added, If your'e changing or if that's changed, that becomes very problematic for our criminal justice data."

Contrary to the GOP leader's claim that gender transition can impact criminal justice data — data shows the criminal justice system is already working against transgender people.

Prison Policy Initiative reports:

The data is clear: lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ ) people are overrepresented at every stage of criminal justice system, starting with juvenile justice system involvement. They are arrested, incarcerated, and subjected to community supervision at significantly higher rates than straight and cisgender people. This is especially true for trans people and queer women. And while incarcerated, LGBTQ individuals are subject to particularly inhumane conditions and treatment.

Montana's only transgender lawmaker, Democratic Rep. Zooey Zephyr, said ahead of a legislative session last month, "The Montana GOP has pushed over a dozen anti-trans bills this year—targeting our art forms, our stories, our healthcare, and our very existence," adding, "It is particularly troubling that the moment they were confronted with the impact their legislation has, they chose to silence the only trans woman elected to public office in Montana as opposed to doing the right thing and voting down this harmful legislation."

READ MORE: 'Not being hyperbolic': Montana Democrat says GOP-backed anti-trans bills have led to suicide

Zephyr also pointed out during a session last month that "One family's trans teenager attempted to take her life while watching a hearing on one of the anti-trans bills.

Still, according to NPR, Montana passed a bill banning gender-affirming care for minors "when its Republican governor signed legislation that exiled transgender lawmaker Zooey Zephyr told fellow lawmakers would leave 'blood' on their hands."

Watch below or at this link.

READ MORE: Montana's only transgender lawmaker silenced for saying GOP has 'blood on its hands'a

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