Montana Democratic State Representative Zooey Zephyr, who identifies as progressive, bisexual, and transgender, and prefers the pronouns she/her, spewed hateful anti-Christian comments at Republican colleagues during a House of Representatives debate on Tuesday.
The debate regarded amendments to Senate Bill 99, legislation supported by conservative lawmakers that would ban performing sex-change operations on children.
Zephyr, who opposed the bill, made hateful comments during a closing argument on Tuesday.
“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,” Zephyr told Republican colleagues .
\u201cRep Zooey Zephyr of Missoula said the following when debating SB99 Amendments.\n\n\u201cThe only thing I will say is if you vote yes on this bill and yes on these amendments I hope the next time there\u2019s an invocation when you bow your heads in prayer, you see the blood on your hands.\u201d\u201d— Montana Freedom Caucus (@Montana Freedom Caucus) 1681854001
Following Zephyr’s remarks, Majority Leader Sue Vinton (R) stated, “I will note this is entirely inappropriate, disrespectful, and uncalled for. We can debate matters civilly and with respect for each other.”
The Montana Freedom Caucus, a group of 21 conservative lawmakers, responded to the anti-Christian rhetoric by calling for Zephyr to be censured.
“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,” the group wrote in a press release Tuesday.
The caucus noted that the legislation had already passed both the state House and Senate. The Tuesday floor debate concerned amendments requested by Montana Governor Republican Greg Gianforte.
“This kind of hateful rhetoric from an elected official is exactly why tragedies such as the Covenant Christian School shooting in Nashville occurred,” the caucus added, referring to a shooting in late March involving a transgender individual who killed three children and three adults.
The Freedom Caucus accused comments like Zephyr’s of being “unmistakable evidence of a desire for some to engage in violence over political beliefs.”
“This must stop,” the group concluded.
Meanwhile, the corporate media stood behind Zephyr and pointed blame at Republican lawmakers for “deliberately misgender[ing]” their colleague, the Associated Press reported.
House Minority Leader Kim Abbott (D) also spoke out in support of Zephyr, stating, “The language used by the so-called Freedom Caucus, including the intentional and repeated misgendering of Rep. Zephyr, is blatantly disrespectful and the farthest thing imaginable from the ‘commitment to civil discourse’ that these letter writers demand.”
“I find it incredibly ironic that these legislators are making demands of others that they refuse to abide by themselves,” Abbott added.
Zephyr accused the caucus of being “hypocritical” for calling for “civility and respect” while simultaneously misgendering the Democratic lawmaker.
Zephyr said in a statement Wednesday, “It is disheartening that the Montana Freedom Caucus would stoop so low as to misgender me in their letter, further demonstrating their disregard for the dignity and humanity of transgender individuals.”
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