Montana’s governor, Greg Gianforte, signed a bill banning gender-affirming treatment for minors this week, just days after Republicans in the state legislature censured Rep. Zooey Zephyr, the first and only openly transgender state lawmaker, for speaking out against the bill. Gianforte signed the bill even though his own son, who is nonbinary, pleaded with his father to veto it.
Meanwhile Rep. Zephyr has filed a lawsuit against her censure. She was silenced from speaking against the bill after she accused her fellow lawmakers of having blood on their hands in passing anti-transgender bills.
Keegan Medrano, policy director at the ACLU of Montana, spoke with YES! Racial Justice and Civil Liberties Editor Sonali Kolhatkar on Rising Up With Sonali about the bill, and why the ACLU supports Zephyr’s opposition to it.
The views expressed here and on Rising Up With Sonali do not necessarily reflect the opinion of YES! Media.
Sonali Kolhatkar is currently the racial justice editor at YES! Media and a writing fellow with Independent Media Institute. She was previously a weekly columnist for Truthdig.com. She is also the host and creator of Rising Up with Sonali, a nationally syndicated television and radio program airing on Free Speech TV and dozens of independent and community radio stations. Sonali won First Place at the Los Angeles Press Club Annual Awards for Best Election Commentary in 2016. She also won numerous awards including Best TV Anchor from the LA Press Club and has also been nominated as Best Radio Anchor 4 years in a row. She is the author of Bleeding Afghanistan: Washington, Warlords, and the Propaganda of Silence, and the co-director of the nonprofit group, Afghan Women's Mission. Her forthcoming book is Rising Up: The Power of Narrative in Pursuing Racial Justice (City Lights, 2023). She has a Master’s in Astronomy from the University of Hawai’i, and two undergraduate degrees in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Texas at Austin. She reflects on her professional path in her 2014 TEDx talk, “My Journey From Astrophysicist to Radio Host.” She can be reached at sonalikolhatkar.com