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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Gov. Gianforte Signs Trans Sports Ban Into Law

Graphic: Montana Public Radio News, Politics

Montana has banned transgender women and girls from competing in women’s interscholastic sports. Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte signed that ban into law Friday. Montana joins five other states in enacting a ban on transgender women and girls from participating in K-12 and college sports with other women and girls. 

Supporters of the legislation say they’re trying to prohibit unfair sports competitions. However, the NCAA has had a policy guiding the fair inclusion of trans athletes in place for over a decade. 

Opponents, including LGBTQ advocates, medical professionals and business leaders, say the policy is discriminatory and harmful to transgender youth. 

Montana’s new law includes a clause that makes it void if the U.S. Department of Education threatens to pull federal education funding over the policy. 

Gianforte recently signed another bill that requires a person who’s trangender and wants to amend their birth certificate to first prove they’ve had gender-affirming surgery. 

Republican Sen. Carl Glimm brought the bill, saying the legal documents shouldn’t change without “significant reason.”

Opponents of the bill say it’s a punitive measure and discriminatory.

Shaylee began covering state government and politics for Montana Public Radio in August 2020. Originally from Belgrade, Montana, she graduated from the University of Montana’s journalism program and previously worked as a reporter for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and UM’s Legislative News Service. Please share tips, questions and concerns by emailing shaylee.ragar@mso.umt.edu. 
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