Montana Governor Greg Gianforte signed the “Youth Health Protection Act,” prohibiting the use of irreversible and damaging puberty blockers, opposite sex hormones and surgeries for minors with gender dysphoria. Like legislation passed in 12 other states, the law means those struggling with sexual identity confusion must wait until they are adults before making such life-changing decisions.

SB 99 passed the Montana Senate with a final vote of 31-17 and the House with a 65-33 vote. The Protection Act gives parents the right to sue for damages when a health care provider violates it. In addition, state funds, facilities and resources may not be used to promote “social transitioning” or these harmful experiments on children.

Montana’s legislative session garnered national attention when Rep. Zooey Zephyr, a man who “identifies” as a woman, castigated supporters of SB 99 as the House was voting on amendments to the legislation. Zephyr said,

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.

The Montana Freedom Caucus objected to these remarks, which did not meet House standards of decorum, stating in a press release:

The Montana Freedom Caucus demands Representative Zooey Zephyr of Missoula’s House District 100 be censured by the House for attempting to shame the Montana legislative body and by using inappropriate and uncalled-for language during a floor debate over amendments concerning Senate Bill 99 – to ban sex changes of minor children.

After the outburst, the House kept Zephyr from speaking on the chamber floor, and they shut down the two committees the representative sits on.

A week after the vote, Zephyr helped coordinate activists who disrupted the proceedings, screaming, “Let her speak,” writes Darin Gaub, who witnessed the proceedings. The sergeant of arms and police were called in to forcibly remove activists, and seven people were arrested.

Fox News reports that the state representative, who has refused to apologize for the intemperate eruption, has now filed a lawsuit challenging the House censure:

Zephyr announced on Monday that the American Civil Liberties Union of Montana, the law partners of Beck, Amsden, and Staples, and Mike Black filed suit in state court challenging the censure.

“The effort by House leadership to silence me and my constituents is a disturbing and terrifying affront to democracy itself,” Zephyr said in a press release posted to Twitter.

Jeremy Carl, senior fellow at The Claremont Institute, writes that Zephyr was born Zachary Raasch and was a champion high school wrestler, with interests in video gaming, manga, and anime. He says that Zephyr had previously been in a relationship with a “furry,” which Carl explains is “someone who enjoys dressing up as anthropomorphic animal characters, often with an explicit sexual component.”

Carl says:

Raasch [Zephyr] was originally motivated to run for the state legislature in response to the attempts to ban “Transgender girls” from girls and women’s sports. This enraged Raasch who claims, contrary to both common sense and scientific evidence, that men who transition to female do not have an advantage in sports, a proposition increasingly rejected even by politically correct athletic bodies.

The legislator also does not “believe that parents should have any right to know if a child is transitioning at school,” Carl writes.

Family Policy Alliance (FPA) Director of Strategy Meridian Baldacci praised the new law, stating:

Today, Montana has sent a clear message: they take child safety seriously. When a child is deeply struggling, he or she deserves meaningful help – not the harm of hormones and surgery.

And these interventions do cause serious harm. They often leave young people sterile, with a variety of irreversible maladies and physical changes, and the deep pain of regret.

She also thanked the Montana Family Foundation, a Focus on the Family ally, “who shepherded this bill through the process.”

FPA adds:

To date, 13 states have Help Not Harm-like laws (Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah). In 2023, 25 states have introduced Help Not Harm-like bills.

While transgender-identified activists and their allies euphemistically call puberty blockers, hormones and surgeries “gender affirming care,” it’s been shown that these medical interventions don’t actually help children struggling with sexual identity confusion, and many of them come to regret their participation in this damaging experiment.

Related articles and resources:

If you or someone you know need help dealing with the transgender issue, check out Focus on the Family’s Transgender Resources.

Focus on the Family offers a free, one-time counseling consultation with a licensed or pastoral counselor. To request a counseling consultation, you can call 1-855-771-HELP (4357) or fill out our Counseling Consultation Request Form.

Department of Justice Sues Tennessee Over Law Protecting Minors From Sex-Change Procedures

Expert in ‘Transitioning’ Children Admits ‘We Were Wrong’ About Puberty Blockers

Important New Journal Article Calls Out Doctors for Harming Youth with Medicalized Gender Ideology

Questioning Drugs, Hormones and Surgery for Youth Confused about Their Sexual Identity

Three More States Protect Children From Damaging ‘Transgender’ Medical Procedures!

Transgenderism and Minors: What Does the Research Really Show?



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