Only Man And Woman? Judge Rules In Controversial Case

A judge decided that Montana legislation that limited the definition of “sex” to male or female in state laws was unconstitutional.

Judge Shane Vannatta of the District Court declared the 2023 law unconstitutional this week, citing a failure to clearly express the measure’s aim in its description.

A group of identities that included transgender, intersex, nonbinary, and other identities filed a lawsuit, claiming that the state’s framework did not adequately protect those who identify as gender nonconforming. The Missoula judge, according to the AP, “did not indicate that the words ‘female’ and ‘male’ would be defined inside the body of the bill and did not explain whether ‘sex’ referred to a gender or sex,” so he chose not to address that specific concern.

Vannatta stated in his decision that the title “does not offer wide notice of the essence of the law in a way that ensures against misleading titles.”

The ACLU of Montana’s legal director, Alex Rate, praised the decision, saying, “Today’s verdict is a significant confirmation of the restrictions that the Montana Constitution sets on legislative enactments.”

Sen. Carl Glimm, a Republican, is the sponsor of S.B. 458 in Montana, which defines “male” as “a member of the homosapien species who has XY chromosomes and produces mobile gametes, or sperm, and has an endocrine system and reproductive system oriented around the creation of those gametes.”

A human being who possesses XX chromosomes and is able to produce relatively large, somewhat immobile gametes, or fertile eggs, as well as having an endocrine system and reproductive system centered around the creation of these gametes, is considered a female, according to the 2023 bill.

Emilee Cantrell, a spokesperson for the Montana AG’s Office, stated that the agency will keep up its defense of a law “that represents scientific truth.”

Governor Greg Gianforte, a Republican, is pleased with the law he signed, according to a spokesman for the governor.

Sean Southard, the governor’s spokesperson, told the AP that “words count.” “And unlike this judge, who seems to require a dictionary to tell the difference between a verb and a noun, this administration is committed to making sure words have meaning.”

Author: Steven Sinclaire


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