A Montana bill seeks to define "sex" under the law as the biological indication of being male or female at birth, disregarding personal experience or gender identity.
According to NBC Montana, Senate Bill 458 would define sex based on the function of a person’s reproductive system, and it is facing opposition from Democrats and the transgender community.
The text of the proposed bill states that sex is “determined by the biological indication of male or female, including sex chromosomes, gonads, and nonambiguous internal and external genitalia present at birth, without regard to an individual’s psychological, chosen, or subjective experience of gender.”
Sponsored by Republican state Senator Carl Glimm, the bill also includes definitions of both "male" and "female."
Male is defined as "a member of the human species that, under normal development, produces small, mobile gametes, or sperm, during his life cycle and has a reproductive and endocrine system oriented around the production of that gamete. An individual who cannot produce sperm due to a condition at birth, but who has female sex chromosomes and nonambiguous external genitalia is a male member of the human species."
While a female is "a member of the human species that, under normal development, produces a ... relatively large, relatively immobile gamete, or egg, during her life cycle and has a reproductive and endocrine ... system oriented around the production of that gamete. An individual who cannot produce an egg due to a condition at birth, but who has male sex chromosomes and nonambiguous internal genitalia is a female member of the human species."
In a statement, Senator Glimm conceded that he believes biological sex and gender and sex are different:
“We’ve heard bills this session about the existence of multiple genders, gender fluidity, gender transition, gender expression, transgenderism. But that’s not what this bill is about. Gender obviously means something different than biological sex. Biological sex is immutable. You can’t change it,” the senator said.
However, Democratic state Senator Mary Ann Dunwell equated the bill to an erasure of transgender people.
“It erases trans people and tens of thousands of Montanans with differences in sexual development, it erases them from law. You cannot erase them from being, from their existence, from their viability," Dunwell claimed.
Lawmakers gave the bill initial approval in a 28-22 vote. The bill will still be voted on again in order to send it to the state House for consideration.
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