Greg Gianforte, governor of Montana
HELENA, Montana (AP) – Governor Greg Gianforte signed a bill on Friday requiring a person to undergo sex reassignment surgery before changing the gender tag on their birth certificate, despite outcry from opponents who claim they are already marginalized transgender people concerns in Montana.
Senator Carl Glimm, sponsor of the Republican bill, argued earlier this year that the state health department exceeded its authority by changing the name of a birth certificate from “gender” to “gender” and then establishing rules for the change. He said birth certificates should contain key statistics and should be based on facts at the time of birth.
Opponents of the measure said fewer than half of transgender people have surgery.
“They want one simple thing, on a piece of paper they want a letter to change,” Democratic Senator Bryce Bennett said during a hearing on the bill.
The Republican-controlled legislature also passed a law banning transgender athletes from playing based on the sex they identify with in school and college sports. Similar bills were signed that year in several Republican-controlled states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, and West Virginia.
Gianforte said Friday that he had not yet decided whether to legally sign the measure.
“This is a subject that inspires a lot of passion on both sides,” said Gianforte of the sports bill. “I’ve met with transgender students, I’ve met with transgender parents, I’ve met with female athletes. We have contributed to this from all sides. “