Wednesday, a vote will be held to 'censure or expel' a transgender Montana state legislator, according to The Washington Examiner.
The Montana House of Representatives will vote on whether to censure or expel Democratic state Rep. Zooey Zephyr, a biological male who is living as a transgender woman, on Wednesday, after protests in support of Zephyr broke out this week.
Zephyr has not been recognized to speak on the House floor since last week, when the lawmaker asserted that legislators who supported a bill prohibiting transgender surgery for juveniles had "blood on their hands."
Zephyr has declined to offer an apology. On Monday, approximately one hundred protestors chanted "Let her speak" from the statehouse gallery, and seven of them were detained and charged with criminal trespassing.
Tuesday night, Zephyr tweeted that on Wednesday's floor session, there would be a motion to "censure or expel me."
I have been informed that during tomorrow’s floor session there will be a motion to either censure or expel me.
I've also been told I'll get a chance to speak. I will do as I have always done—rise on behalf of my constituents, in defense of my community, & for democracy itself. pic.twitter.com/8gD3UWPBkS
— Rep. Zooey Zephyr (@ZoAndBehold) April 26, 2023
Republican Montana House Speaker Matt Regier informed members of the state House in a letter that the galleries will be closed "to maintain decorum and ensure safety."
The public will be allowed to observe the proceedings on the website of the legislative branch or in a committee room, he added.
After Monday's protests, Regier and Republican state representatives Rhonda Knudsen and Sue Vinton said in a statement that they would "stand firm" in their commitment to "decorum, safety, and order."
"It's not enough for them to get the harmful bills through," Zephyr responded. "When someone stands up and calls out their bills for the harm they cause, for the deaths they cause, they want silence. And we will not be complicit in our eradication."
The vote to expel a problematic Democratic state representative is not unique to Montana.
Two Tennessee state Democrats were expelled from the state House earlier this month after participating in protests on the state House floor calling for gun reform in the aftermath of the school massacre in Nashville.
The case made national headlines, and state representatives were involved. Both President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris supported Justin Jones and Justin Pearson.
Pearson and Jones were reappointed by their respective county commission councils in unanimity one week later. Both will be required to seek reelection.