HELENA, Mont. — Republican leaders abruptly canceled a planned session of the Montana House of Representatives on Tuesday, a day after their refusal to let a transgender lawmaker speak led to angry protests and arrests in the House chamber.
Police officers in riot gear cleared the House gallery on Monday and arrested seven people, according to local news reports, after a day of protests that grew more intense following a rally on the Capitol steps in support of the lawmaker, Representative Zooey Zephyr.
In a brief news conference on Tuesday, the Republican speaker of the House, Matt Regier, said that Montana legislators had not silenced anyone and blamed Ms.
Zephyr for the standoff, saying that she was not following House rules. “The only person who is silencing Representative Zephyr is Representative Zephyr,” he said.