Montana has enacted a law to make it illegal to mention gender identity or sexual orientation in schools without parental consent.

Last Friday (May 7) Gov. Greg Gianforte signed Senate bill 99 in support of its anti-trans conduct. The bill in question allows a parent or guardian to remove a child from “human sexuality instruction”.

The bill states school districts are now required to notify a parent or guardian if any events or courses on human sexuality will be taking place. This allows the parent or guardian the right to “withdraw the child from a course of instruction, a class period, an assembly, an organized school function regarding human sexuality”.

Senate bill 99 also prohibits school districts from allowing any abortion providers to offer materials on site.

“S.B. 99 is a discriminatory bill that directly targets LGBTQ kids. This bill sets a dangerous precedent in secondary education that would not only limit access to sex education, but any curriculum regarding LGBTQ people,” Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said in a public statement.

“All students, no matter their gender or sexual identity, deserve the opportunity to learn about themselves and information critical to their health.”

Montana has passed an anti-transgender bill banning transgender girls and women from participating in sports.

House bill 122 states young girls and women are unable to participate in elementary, secondary, or post-secondary sport in teams that are not consistent with their gender identity.

Amendments on the bill state it requires “public school athletic teams to be designated based on biological sex.”

The Human Rights Campaign believes there are 252 anti-LGBTQ bills under consideration across the country. Just under half of these legislative bills target trans people, with a large portion discriminating against trans girls and women.

Bill 122 was introduced by Montana Republican State Representative John D. Fuller at the start of this year. The proposed legislation swiftly passed House and, soon after, Senate in April. It has now been signed off by Gov. Greg Gianforte.

Montana was the first legislature to take up anti-transgender legislation in 2021.

Alphonso David, Human Rights Campaign President condemned the bill in a public statement. “Montana legislators have sadly led the national effort to advance these hateful bills that harm transgender children, who deserve better than this targeted discrimination,” he said.

“Transgender children are children. They deserve the ability to play organized sports and be part of a team, just like all children. The fact that legislators who voted to pass this bill cannot name a single example of transgender kids trying to gain an unfair competitive advantage underscores that this is nothing more than a politically motivated bill for the sake of discrimination itself.

“As Gianforte considers this legislation, he should take heed of the catastrophic consequences that other states have faced after passing anti-transgender legislation — including economic harm, expensive taxpayer-funded legal battles, and a tarnished reputation.”

Amendments made the bill specifically outline how the legislation will alienate and exclude trans kids from sporting practices and clubs.

Under the listing of “designated teams” within the bill, the text states “athletic teams or sports designated for females, women, or girls may not be open to students of the male sex”. This phrasing directly targets transitioning or gender-nonconforming trans youth.

Wilmot Collins, Mayor of Helena, Montana, publicly criticised the passing of House bill 122.

“I strongly oppose the advancing of the discriminatory House Bill 112 that targets Trans youth in Montana. This isn’t what Public Service is about.” he posted on Twitter. “As Mayor of Helena, I will continue to use my voice as an opponent of discrimination of any kind.”

The NCAA Board of Governors released a public letter making clear that it “firmly and unequivocally supports the opportunity for transgender student-athletes to compete in college sports.”

The NCAA is the National Collegiate Athletic Association, a nonprofit organisation, which supports student athletes. In short, the NCAA opposes efforts to limit the participation of transgender students

The Human Rights Campaign & Hart Research Group poll revealed that the public was on the side of fairness and equality for transgender student athletes.

The poll uncovered that 73 per cent of voters agreed “sports are important in young people’s lives. Young transgender people should be allowed opportunities to participate in a way that is safe and comfortable for them.”