Sex Definition
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Senate Bill 458, a bill to define sex based on how a person’s reproductive system functions, passed out of the Senate chamber Friday on a 28-22 vote, despite briefly seeing a much closer margin due to fleeting Republican opposition. Proponents cast the bill as an attempt to clarify the definition of sex in light of public mainstreaming of “gender fluidity, gender transition, gender expression, transgenderism,” as the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Carl Glimm, R-Kila, argued during a Thursday floor debate. Opponents say the bill would strip legal recognition from transgender people and many people with intersex conditions, linking it to a continued tide of anti-trans and LGBTQ+ bills nationwide. It will now proceed to the House. 

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Mara writes about health and human services stories happening in local communities, the Montana statehouse and the court system. She also produces the Shared State podcast in collaboration with MTPR and YPR. Before joining Montana Free Press, Mara worked in podcast and radio production at Slate and WNYC. She was born and raised in Helena, MT and graduated from Seattle University in 2016.

Eric came to journalism in a roundabout way after studying engineering at Montana State University in Bozeman (credit, or blame, for his career direction rests with the campus's student newspaper, the Exponent). He has worked as a professional journalist in Montana since 2013, with stints at the Great Falls Tribune, Bozeman Daily Chronicle, and Solutions Journalism Network before joining the Montana Free Press newsroom in Helena full time in 2019.