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Montana's governor signs legislation saying “sex” can only be defined as male or female

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Republican Governor Greg Gianforte has signed a bill defining the word “sex” into state law as simply male or female — joining Kansas and Tennessee, which have similar laws that LGBTQ+ advocates argue That non-binary and transgender people would be denied legal recognition.

Medical professionals say the law also ignores the fact that some people are born intersex – a term that covers about 60 conditions in which a person has different genitalia, reproductive organs, chromosomes and/or hormone levels. is born who does not fit the typical definitions of male or masculine. Woman.

The bill’s sponsor said the change was needed to clarify, from a legal perspective, that “sex” and “gender” do not mean the same thing.

The Montana bill is “an attempt to erase trans, nonbinary and two-spirit people from the code, thereby taking away the rights, privileges and considerations that trans, nonbinary and two-spirit people would have under the law,” SK Rossi said last month. Testifying against the law on behalf of the Human Rights Campaign.

“Two-spirit” is a Native American term for people with both male and female spirits.

The bill, which Gianforte signed on Friday, was approved during a legislative session that also passed Banning Gender-Affirming Medical Care for Transgender Minors and saw Transgender Lawmaker Democratic Rep. Zooey Zephyr was evicted from the house floorAfter protests from Republican lawmakers who silenced him.

Other states have adopted or are considering adopting legislation similar to Montana’s to define “gender”, which would prevent residents from changing the identification labels on their birth certificates and driver’s licenses. The laws in Kansas and Tennessee are set to take effect July 1, while Montana’s laws take effect October 1.

Transgender people choose to change the gender on their birth certificate and driver’s license so that their documents match their identity.

Lauren Wilson, president of the Montana chapter of the American Academy of Pediatricians, said Bill’s claim that there are actually two genders is medically incorrect.

The bill defines a woman as having XX chromosomes, and having a reproductive and endocrine system that produces or will produce ova, or eggs. Male is defined as having an XY chromosome and a biological system that produces or will produce sperm.

The Bill was amended to say that anyone who would fall within the definition of male or female “but for a biological or genetic condition” would come under the preliminary determination of male or female.

“The added amendment to address intersex people actually makes the bill even more wrong,” Wilson said.

A bill before the Texas legislature was amended to allow a delay in the report of a child’s biological sex if it cannot be determined at birth.

“The Montana bill has no basis in science and seeks to reduce each of our existences to our fertility,” argued Keegan Medrano, policy director for the ACLU of Montana.

The bill’s sponsor, Republican Sen. Carl Glim, said the legislation was necessary after a 2022 court decision in which a state judge ruled that transgender residents can change the gender markers on their birth certificates. That decision — which conflated sex with gender — blocked a bill sponsored by Glim last year that would have allowed birth certificates to be changed only if the person had undergone a gender-affirming surgical procedure.

Montana’s Department of Health later passed a rule stating that no change can be made to the gender listed on a resident’s birth certificate unless it was entered incorrectly due to a transcription error. .

Presenting his bill before the House Judiciary Committee last month, Glim argued that a person’s biological sex cannot be changed.

“You can claim to be able to change your gender or express your gender differently, but you can never change your biological sex,” he said.

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