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Lawmakers debate free speech, respect for transgender students

A bill impacting how Montana students can refer to their transgender peers passed its first House vote Wednesday after pointed debate


Last updated 2/16/2023 at 10:57am

Alex Sakariassen

Montana Free Press

Lawmakers in the Montana House engaged in pointed debate Wednesday about respect, faith and the ability of transgender, nonbinary and two-spirit students to feel safe in public schools.

The discussion centered on House Bill 361, a measure brought by Rep. Brandon Ler, R-Savage, to establish that referring to a fellow student by a gender they do not claim or a birth name they no longer use — known as misgendering and dead-naming, respectively — is not legally discriminatory behavior. In his opening remarks, Ler framed the proposal as a protection of...

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