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Gay lawmaker destroys Republican over anti-trans bill: ‘Gentlemen, I am not afraid of you anymore’

Maggie Baska April 17, 2022
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Missouri state representative Ian Mackey passionately speaks before colleagues in the state House

Missouri state representative Ian Mackey condemned his Republican colleague for pushing legislation attacking trans youth in a now viral speech. (Twitter/@MOLegDems)

A gay politician has gone viral for passionately confronting a Republican lawmaker over a bill that would ban trans athletes from school sports.

Missouri state representative Ian Mackey delivered a personal and impassioned speech while the state House considered legislation that would ban trans students from participating in school sports. 

The Democrat recalled his experience growing up in an area that was not accepting of the LGBT+ community. Mackey even brought up the gay brother of Chuck Basye, the GOP lawmaker who proposed the anti-trans amendment, and discussed how Basye’s brother was “afraid” to come out to the family. 

“Your brother wanted to tell you he was gay, didn’t he?” Mackey asked.

Basye said that his brother did but was worried that Bayse would “hold that against him and not let my children be around him”. When questioned about why his brother would think this, the Republican admitted that he didn’t know why his brother had that response, adding he would “never” isolate his children from their uncle.

“I would have been afraid to tell you too,” Mackey declared. “I would have been afraid to tell you to because of stuff like this – because this is what you’re focused on.”

He continued: “This is the legislation you want to put forward. This is what consumes your time.”

The gay lawmaker admitted that he was once “afraid of people like you growing up” in Hickory County, Missouri. He added that he even “grew up in a school district that would vote tomorrow” to enact the anti-trans ban. 

Mackey said that he had known “nice people” like his Republican counterpart who pushed legislation attacking the LGBT+ community as a child and was thankful he was able to “make it out” as an adult. 

“Thank God I made it out,” he said. “I think every day of the kids who are still there who haven’t made it out, who haven’t escaped from this kind of bigotry.”

He continued: “Gentlemen, I’m not afraid of you anymore because you’re going to lose.

“You may win this today, but you’re going to lose.”

Footage of Mackey’s remarks has gone viral across social media with several people on Twitter sharing the gay politician’s powerful speech.

Despite Mackey’s speech, Bayse’s amendment was approved in the GOP-led Missouri House with an 89-40 vote, the Associated Press reported. The proposed legislation would allow local elections to decide on whether trans youth can participate on girls’ and women’s sports teams from grades K-12.

The Missouri House will take another vote on the bill before it is sent over to the state Senate.

More than a dozen states now have laws in place restricting trans youth from being able to fully participate in school sports. In this year alone, IowaSouth DakotaOklahoma, ArizonaUtah and Kentucky have enacted such legislation. 

Governors in Indiana and Kansas have vetoed bills that would ban trans students from playing girls’ and women’s school sports in those states. 

More: Missouri, trans sports ban

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