Advocates for the rights of transgender people rally outside the headquarters of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). EFE-EPA/FILE/MICHAEL REYNOLDS

Montana in US bans gender-affirming healthcare for trans-minors

Washington, Apr 28 (EFE).- Montana in the United States became the latest state governed by conservatives to ban gender-affirming medical treatment for transgender minors.

Republican Governor Greg Gianforte signed a bill into law, making the state join about a dozen others like Florida, Tennessee, and Alabama that have adopted a similar measure.

The bill prohibits transitional hormone treatments and surgeries for transgender people under 18.

The decision comes after regional Republican legislators agreed two days ago to censure Montana’s first transgender lawmaker, Zooey Zephyr, who had opposed the bill.

Zephyr, one of the state’s two transgender lawmakers, was silenced from floor debates for disrupting the decorum of the House.

The Democratic legislator can vote and attend the House proceedings remotely but cannot speak for the entire session that concludes by the month’s end.

The Montana Congressional decision to censure Zephyr came two days after a protest for the rights of transgender and sexually diverse people disrupted House proceedings.

Republican lawmakers accused Zephyr of inciting the demonstration.

She has not been allowed to speak on the floor since last week.

She had warned that the Republican lawmakers would have “blood on their hands” if they approved the anti-trans bill.

The law aims to restrict access to gender-affirming care – as is known in the US – for minors.

The measure has become popular in conservative-ruled states.

Fifteen states have already prohibited or restricted the type of medical treatment, according to data from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

Conservatives argue that the law would prevent young people from making irreversible decisions they might regret later.

However, there are few studies on the long-term effect of this type of treatment in minors.

Many Democratic legislators warn of the risk of stigmatizing a community suffering high levels of discrimination and abuse.

Organizations that defend LGBT rights fear that the situation could lead more trans youth to commit suicide since they are among the most vulnerable groups.

Medical associations agree that gender affirmation treatments are appropriate for adults and young people with gender dysphoria. EFE