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The latest Montana politics, elections and Legislature news.

Montana House Endorses Restrictions On Transgender Athletes, Health Care

Rep. John Fuller, R-Whitefish, opens a hearing on House Bill 112 during a Montana House Judiciary Committee Meeting Jan. 18, 2021. Fuller sponsored HB 112, which seeks to ban transgender women from competing in high school and college women’s sports.
Austin Amestoy
/
UM Legislative News Service
Rep. John Fuller, R-Whitefish, opens a hearing on House Bill 112 during a Montana House Judiciary Committee Meeting Jan. 18, 2021. Fuller sponsored HB 112, which seeks to ban transgender women from competing in high school and college women’s sports.";

Republican lawmakers in Montana's House of Representatives have advanced two bills that would regulate how transgender youth participate in sports and receive health care.

The Montana House passed both bills on near party line votes.

House Bill 112 would ban trans women from participating in women’s interscholastic sports, and House Bill 113 would restrict doctors from providing gender-affirming care to trans youth. 

HB 112 passed second reading 62-38. HB 113 passed 53-47. 

Rep. John Fuller, a Republican representing Kalispell, is carrying both bills and says he believes it’s unfair for trans women to compete in sports consistent with their gender identity. He said that trans youth aren’t old enough to make the decision to transition and that’s why he wants to restrict access to gender-affirming care.

“Children live under the guardianship of adults precisely because they lack the maturity, prudence and experience to make safe responsible decisions for themselves.”

Democrats, medical professionals and human rights organizations have pushed back against both bills saying they discriminate against trans youth and contradict best medical practice.

Democratic Rep. Alice Buckley said, “Our work here is to ensure all Montanans, including trans and nonbinary youth, have the ability to live with dignity and respect and have access to opportunities and resources that will let them thrive. This bill is harmful.”

The bills will likely move onto the state Senate for consideration next after a third House vote Tuesday. 

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