Breaking News

Montana House votes to ban transgender representative from House floor

Montana House Republicans voted Wednesday 68 to 32 to ban Missoula Democrat Rep. Zooey Zephyr from the floor.

Montana House votes to ban transgender representative from House floor
Amy Beth Hanson / AP

In a move that was several days in the making, a Montana representative, who is transgender, was banned from the House floor after a battle with Republican leadership.

Missoula Democratic Rep. Zooey Zephyr will not be allowed on the House floor or in the House gallery for the remainder of the legislative session following a 68 to 32 vote on Wednesday.

Zephyr upset Republicans last week after saying they would have blood on their hands after they voted to ban gender-affirming care for children. 

“So when I rose up and said there is blood on your hands, I was not being hyperbolic. I was speaking to the real consequences of the votes that we as legislators take in this body,” Zephyr said Wednesday, prior to the vote. 

Rep. Zooey Zephyr speaks on the Montana House floor

Montana Minority Leader Kim Abbott on Rep. Zephyr's expulsion

Montana State House Minority Leader Kim Abbott said Rep. Zephyr's censure demanded attention and a response.


Speaker of the House Matt Regier, R-Kalispell, said he had concerns that Zephyr wouldn't maintain decorum if he called on her, so he has prevented her from speaking.

“When the Speaker disallowed me to speak, what he was doing was taking away the voices of the 11,000 who elected me to speak on their behalf,” Zephyr said

On Monday, demonstrators shouted and chanted from the gallery to protest the House Speaker's decision not to recognize Zephyr to speak on the floor. Supporters of Zephyr say Regier was effectively "silencing" her and depriving the people she represents of a voice in the House.

Speaking to Scripps News correspondent Maritsa Georgiou on Wednesday, Zephyr spoke about her future this legislative session. She said she is still allowed to vote, but will have to do so remotely. 

"I will do what I have always done-- which is I will prepare for the bills, I will make sure I know what I would say on them were I allowed to speak," she said. "I will continue to represent my community and stand up for the values that they sent me here to uphold.