HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A Montana legislative panel has rejected a bill that called for a statewide vote on whether to bar transgender people from using bathrooms and locker rooms that don’t match their gender at birth.
The House Judiciary Committee voted 11-7 against the bill on Monday. It is likely dead, though it could be revived if enough votes flip in the committee or if a majority of representatives blast it to the House floor.
Legislators who opposed the bill warned it would lead to humiliation and increased safety risks for transgender people. They added it would harm the state’s economy because entertainers and tourists would see Montana as unwelcoming.
Supporters of the measure say it aims to protect young people and that they believe the economic consequences are exaggerated.
The bill sought to put the issue before voters in 2018.