Contact: Kyle Huelsman
Today, State Innovation Exchange (SiX) sent a letter to Montana and Oklahoma State House Leadership signed by 52 legislators across 19 states, including 15 LGBTQ+ Caucus Chairs, in support of Rep. Zooey Zephyr of Montana and Rep. Mauree Turner of Oklahoma, who have been censured in their respective state houses for advocating for the basic rights and dignity of transgender people. Rep. Zooey Zephyr is Montana’s first and only openly transgender legislator, and Rep. Mauree Turner is Oklahoma’s first openly nonbinary Muslim legislator.
In sending this letter, LGBTQ+ lawmakers, many of whom are fighting the same anti-LGBTQ+ bills in their home states, are sending a message that undemocratic attempts to silence opposition to harmful legislation will not go unchallenged or ignored.
“LGBTQ+ state lawmakers are on the frontlines, defending their communities from an onslaught of hateful legislation, and defending the freedoms of all Americans. Rep. Zooey Zephyr of Montana and Rep. Mauree Turner of Oklahoma should be applauded for their fearless advocacy.” said Neha Patel, Co-Executive Director of the State Innovation Exchange (SiX). “The censure of these two lawmakers undermines the representation of the tens of thousands of people who elected them to serve. Efforts in Tennessee, Montana, Oklahoma and across the country to prevent state lawmakers from fighting back against the bills that impact them and their constituents undermines the will of the people and represents a direct threat to our democracy everywhere.”
Just as we stated following the attempted expulsion of the Tennessee 3, SiX will continue to mobilize legislators and advocates to fight for representative state houses and against gross abuses of power. SiX, along with the signatories of the letter, stand in solidarity with Rep. Zephyr and Rep. Turner. Read the full sign on letter here.
State Innovation Exchange (SiX) was founded as a nonpartisan, national resource and strategy center for state legislators working to move bold public policy that builds an equitable, resilient, and prosperous country for all. SiX provides state-based technical assistance, public policy research, skill and issue-based trainings, communications and polling support, convenings, and strategy sessions with state legislators, power builders, and policy advocates on a wide array of public policy topics.