Montana Republican suggests she would prefer daughter die by suicide than allow her to transition

“I was not going to let her tear apart my family,” state Rep. Kerri Seekins-Crowe said

By Gabriella Ferrigine

Staff Writer

Published May 1, 2023 12:23PM (EDT)

Kerri Seekins-Crowe (Montana Legislature)
Kerri Seekins-Crowe (Montana Legislature)

A Montana lawmaker who sponsored the state's ban on gender-affirming care for transgender youth is facing fierce criticism over a comment she made on the House floor in March.

Republican state Rep. Kerri Seekins-Crowe suggested during a floor debate that she would rather her daughter die by suicide than allow her to transition. Though Seekins-Crowe did not identify her daughter as transgender, she said that she was "one of those parents who lived with a daughter who was suicidal for three years."

"One of the big issues that we have heard today and we've talked about lately is that without surgery the risk of suicide goes way up. Well, I am one of those parents who lived with a daughter who was suicidal for three years," Seekins-Crowe said. "Someone once asked me, 'Wouldn't I just do anything to help save her?' And I really had to think and the answer was, 'No.'"

"I was not going to give in to her emotional manipulation because she was incapable of making those decisions and I had to make those decisions for her," she added.

Seekins-Crowe continued, "I was not going to let her tear apart my family and I was not going to let her tear apart me because I had to be strong for her, I had to have a vision for her life when she had none, was incapable of having none."

Seekins-Crowe also said that she "spent hours on the floor in prayer because I didn't know that when I woke up if my daughter was going to be alive or not. But I knew that I had to make those right decisions for her so that she would have a precious, successful adulthood at that time."

A video of Seekins-Crowe's comments went viral on Twitter after it was shared by an account called The Intellectualist. The clip has amassed nearly 15 million views since it was posted on April 27.

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Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., denounced Seekins-Crowe on Twitter, accusing her of  "shoving her private decision down other people's throats."

"I vehemently disagree with this speech by GOP state rep Kerri Seekins-Crowe," he wrote. "But you know what she didn't say? That it should be the government's role to make personal decisions for families. Why is she now shoving her private decision down other people's throats?"

Backlash over her remarks comes after Montana GOP Gov. Greg Gianforte signed legislation banning transgender care for minors. Montana House Republicans last week voted to censure Democratic Rep. Zoey Zephyr, the state's first transgender lawmaker, for telling her GOP colleagues, there "will be blood on your hands," if they passed the bill. Zephyr is suing the state, along with House Speaker Matt Regier and Sergeant at Arms for the Montana House of Representatives Bradley Murfitt, over the censure.


If you or someone you know is in crisis, call 988 to reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. You can also call the network, previously known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, at 800-273-8255, text HOME to 741741 or visit for additional resources.

By Gabriella Ferrigine

Gabriella Ferrigine is a staff writer at Salon. Originally from the Jersey Shore, she moved to New York City in 2016 to attend Columbia University, where she received her B.A. in English and M.A. in American Studies. Formerly a staff writer at NowThis News, she has an M.A. in Magazine Journalism from NYU and was previously a news fellow at Salon.

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Aggregate Greg Gianforte Kerri Seekins-crowe Lgbtq Politics Transgender Zoey Zephyr