Judge Rules Law Defining Sex as ‘Male’ or ‘Female’ Is ‘Unconstitutional’

A radical judge has ruled that a Montana law defining sex as either “male” or “female” is a violation of the United States Constitution.

The Montana law defines “sex” in state law when referring to a person as only male or female.

However, District Court Judge Shane Vannatta claims this law is “unconstitutional.”

The judge argues that the law’s description did not explicitly state its purpose.

Judge Vannatta struck down the 2023 law on Tuesday.

The ruling came after a group of plaintiffs who identify as “transgender,” “nonbinary,” “intersex,” and “other identities” sued the state.

The plaintiffs argue that the law denies legal recognition and protection to people who “identify” as “gender-nonconforming,” according to The Associated Press.

Vannatta did not address the claim of a lack of legal recognition and protection but did say that the bill’s title did not adequately explain whether the word “sex” referred to gender or sexual intercourse.

The judge added that it did not indicate the words “male” and “female” would be defined in the body of the bill.

“The title does not give general notice of the character of the legislation in a way that guards against deceptive or misleading titles,” Vannatta wrote.

Montana’s law, S.B. 458, is similar to those passed in Kansas and Tennessee.

The bill sought to revise laws to “provide a common definition for the word sex when referring to a human,” the text reads.

It accurately and specifically defines “male” as “a member of the human species who, under normal development, has XY chromosomes and produces or would produce small, mobile gametes, or sperm, during his life cycle and has a reproductive and endocrine system oriented around the production of those gametes.”

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“Female” was defined in the bill as “a member of the human species who, under normal development, has XX chromosomes and produces or would produce relatively large, relatively immobile gametes, or eggs, during her life cycle and has a reproductive and endocrine system oriented around the production of those gametes.”

The law was sponsored by Republican state Sen. Carl Glimm.

Glimm said the legislation was needed after a state judge ruled in 2022 that transgender people could change the gender markers on their birth certificates.

Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte is proud of the law he signed, meanwhile.

He said the state law codified the long-recognized and commonsense definition of sex, the governor’s spokesman Sean Southard told The Associated Press.

“Words matter,” Southard said.

“And this administration is committed to ensuring words have meaning, unlike this judge, who apparently needs a dictionary to discern the difference between a noun and a verb.”

Montana Attorney General’s Office spokeswoman Emilee Cantrell said her office would continue to defend the law “that reflects scientific reality.”

The American Civil Liberties Union of Montana applauded the ruling.

In a statement, ACLU of Montana legal director Alex Rate said:

“Today’s ruling is an important vindication of the safeguards that the Montana Constitution places on legislative enactments”

The bill was passed in 2023 during a legislative session when a ban on gender transition treatment for minors was also approved.

At the same time, transgender Democrat state Rep. Zooey Zephyr was expelled from the House floor after a protest against Republican lawmakers who had silenced him.

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By Frank Bergman

Frank Bergman is a political/economic journalist living on the east coast. Aside from news reporting, Bergman also conducts interviews with researchers and material experts and investigates influential individuals and organizations in the sociopolitical world.

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