Montana Locker Room Privacy Act (HB 609)
This law was last updated on May 11, 2017
HB 609 would require public facilities that are accessible by multiple persons at the same time to be designated for use only by members of one sex.
The bill would require a governmental entity that controls a “protected facility” to ensure that each protected facility provides privacy from persons of the opposite sex.
The bill defines protected facility to mean “a changing facility, locker room, restroom, or shower room that is located in a government building or that is controlled by a governmental entity.”
The bill defines sex to mean “a person’s immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy and genetics existing at the time of birth. A person’s original birth certificate may be relied upon as definitive evidence of the person’s sex.”
The bill would allow a person using or accessing a protected facility that is designated for use by that person’s sex who encounters a person of the opposite sex in the protected facility to bring a civil action against the governmental entity that controls the facility if:
- the governmental entity gave permission to such an individual to use the facility; or
- the governmental entity failed to take reasonable steps to prohibit such an individual from using the facility.
The bill would prohibit local government units from exercising any power that applies to or effects provisions of this law.
Under this law, cities, towns, and counties would essentially be prohibited from passing nondiscrimination laws meant to ensure transgender individuals may be able to use public facilities which conform with their gender identity.
If passed, the law would be submitted to voters at the general election to be held in November, 2018. The ballot would display the following:
The 2017 Legislature has submitted this proposal for a vote. This proposal establishes the Montana Locker Room Privacy Act, which requires a person using a protected facility such as a locker room, changing facility, restroom, or shower room in a government building or public school to use the facility that is designated for that person’s biological sex. This proposal provides for accommodations such as single stall facilities based upon special circumstances. This proposal also requires governmental entities and public schools to ensure that each protected facility provides privacy from persons of the opposite sex, and authorizes civil penalties if a governmental entity fails to provide such privacy.
 YES on Legislative Referendum ___.
 NO on Legislative Referendum ___.
If passed, the law would take effect on January 1, 2019.