By Bobby Caina Calvan
A conservative group wants to let Montana voters decide whether transgender people must use public restrooms and locker rooms designated for their gender at birth — a move that could thrust the state into the national debate over transgender rights.
The Montana Family Foundation launched its campaign to place the matter on next year’s fall ballot after lawmakers declined to do so.
If approved by voters, the measure would affect how public schools, universities and other government agencies accommodate transgender people. Facilities designated for use by one sex would have to exclude the opposite sex.
The foundation called the effort a necessary step to protect “the privacy, safety and dignity” of Montana children and help guard against sexual predators.
“There are active lawsuits in other states, and we wanted to take a proactive role in protecting privacy,” said Bowen Greenwood, director of government affairs for the foundation.
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