Judge Strikes Down Law Defining Gender

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(PartiallyPolitics.com) – On Tuesday, a judge struck down a law in Montana that defined “sex” as being strictly female or male, stating that it is unconstitutional. 

The law which was passed last year, was found by Missoula District Court Judge Shane Vannatta to violate the state constitution as there was no clear legislation description that states its purpose. The law was challenged by intersex, nonbinary, transgender, and other plaintiffs; similar laws have also been passed in Tennessee and Kansas. However, the plaintiffs opposed the law as it denied protection and recognition for people who are gender-nonconforming. 

Vannatta in his comments did not refer to that and instead argued that the bill’s title did not provide an explanation on whether the word “sex” was meant as a reference to gender or sexual intercourse. There was also no indication whether the words “male” and “female” would be further defined within the bill’s body. As he wrote the title does not provide general notice of the legislation’s character, thus not guarding over possible misleading titles. 

The legislative session during which the bill was approved had also passed a gender-affirming medical care ban for transgender minors. It also resulted in Democratic Rep. Zooey Zephyr, who is transgender, being expelled from the House floor after protesting against the GOP lawmakers that had silenced her.

The bill had been led by Republican Sen. Carl Glimm who argued that it was needed following a 2022 court ruling that had allowed transgender residents to change their gender markers on their birth certificates.

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