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

'Not being hyperbolic': Montana Democrat says GOP-backed anti-trans bills have led to suicide
Image via Twitter/Screengrab.

Montana State Rep. Zooey Zephyr (D-100th District) is determined to counter the state's GOP lawmakers' slew of anti-trans proposed legislation.

The state's only transgender lawmaker, Zephyr has voiced her opposition to the GOP's anti-trans laws, which the Republican lawmakers have aggressively attempted to silence.

"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," Zephyr said in a memo shared via Twitter last week. "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: 'The worst anti-trans bill I have ever seen': GOP-led state houses are ramping up efforts to gut LGBTQ+ rights

Zephyr said this a few days after a hearing in which she said to the GOP lawmakers, "If you are denying gender-affirming care and forcing a trans child to go through puberty, that is tantamount to torture, and this body should be ashamed. If you vote yes on this bill, I hope the next time you bow your heads in prayer, you see the blood on your hands."

The Recount shared a clip Wednesday of Zephyr reiterating her plead during a hearing via Twitter, writing, "Montana State Rep. Zooey Zephyr (D) ahead of vote to bar her from the state House for the rest of the session: 'I have had friends who have taken their lives because of these bills ... When I rose up and said, 'There is blood on your hands,' I was not being hyperbolic.'"

Zephyr continued, "One family's trans teenager attempted to take her life while watching a hearing on one of the anti-trans bills, and in that hearing, our caucus pleaded with the Republican chair of the Judiciary Committee to not allow certain testimony to keep decorum, and we were told 'a lot of people have a lot of opinions on these things.'"

After the first time the Democratic lawmaker urged her GOP colleagues to beware of the blood on their hands, the GOP-led Montana Freedom Caucus submitted a letter to the Legislature — which misgendered Zephyr, and called for her to be "censured for using 'inappropriate and uncalled-for language' during the debate, unless she issued a formal apology."

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

Zephyr refuses to apologize.

During her speech on the state House floor Wednesday, Zephyr doubled down saying when she asserted Republicans have "blood on your hands," she was "speaking to the real consequences of the votes that we as legislators take in this body."

She concluded, "And when the speaker asks me to apologize, what he is really asking me to do is be silent when my community is facing bills that get us killed. He's asking me to be complicit in this legislature's eradication of our community, and I refuse to do so. And I will always refuse to do so."

Watch the video below or at the link.

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

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