HELENA — The Montana Senate has voted down a bill that would have prohibited gender transition surgeries for transgender youth, likely killing it for this session.
House Bill 427, sponsored by Rep. John Fuller, R-Whitefish, was set for a debate on the House floor Tuesday, but leaders delayed the vote. However, Sen. Bryce Bennett, D-Missoula, then moved to indefinitely postpone the bill. That motion passed 27-22, with eight Republicans joining all 19 Democrats in support.
Once a bill has been indefinitely postponed, it can only be revived if lawmakers vote to reconsider their action.
HB 427 would have prevented health care providers from performing a surgery on someone younger than 18 to treat gender dysphoria. Supporters said the intent was to ensure children didn’t receive procedures with permanent effects. Opponents said the restrictions could have unintended consequences and would be an unnecessary obstacle for transgender youth seeking care.
Earlier in the session, Fuller sponsored a similar but broader bill, HB 113. It would have blocked a wider range of care for gender dysphoria, including hormone therapy. HB 113 failed in its final vote on the House floor in January.