Gay Missouri Lawmaker Tears Down Colleague Over Anti-Trans Amendment

"I was afraid of people like you growing up," state Rep. Ian Mackey told state Rep. Chuck Basye.

A lawmaker in Missouri delivered a powerful condemnation of one of his Republican colleagues Thursday over an effort to keep transgender athletes out of youth sports.

State Rep. Ian Mackey (D), who is gay, issued the emotionally charged message to state Rep. Chuck Basye (R) during a hearing about an amendment Basye proposed that would allow school districts to vote on transgender athletes bans.

Mackey urged Basye to reflect on his relationship with his own brother, who is also gay.

“Your brother wanted to tell you that he was gay, didn’t he?” Mackey pressed Basye, who replied that yes, his brother “thought that we would hold that against him and not let my children be around him” ― though that was not the case, Basye said.

“Can I tell you, if I were your brother, I would have been afraid to tell you, too?” Mackey responded. “I would have been afraid to tell you, too, because of stuff like this, because this is what you’re focused on. This is the legislation you want to put forward. This is what consumes your time. I would have been afraid to tell you, too. I was afraid of people like you growing up.”

Mackey said that the school district where he grew up, in Missouri’s Hickory County, would “vote tomorrow” to implement such a ban. The state lawmaker represents parts of St. Louis County.

“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.”

Footage of his remarks racked up hundreds of thousands of views on social media in the past day.

“Gentlemen, I’m not afraid of you anymore, because you’re going to lose,” Mackey told his colleagues who support the amendment, raising his voice. “You may win this today, but you’re going to lose.”

Basye called Mackey a “loudmouth crybaby” and said the exchange “didn’t [faze] me at all” in an email to HuffPost:

Representative Mackey is a loudmouth crybaby. He was campaigning on the floor of the Missouri House of Representatives. He is worried about his re-election and his rhetoric during the debate has absolutely nothing to do with the amendment I offered to House Bill 2140. During the 3 hour debate the radical democrats attacked my character and made many slanderous accusations! It didn’t phase me at all, I went home afterwards, enjoyed a delicious glass of Maker’s 46 Bourbon then laid down and slept like a baby!!

Basye’s amendment was ultimately approved, 89-40, following nearly three hours of debate.

More than a dozen states now have laws in place restricting transgender students’ participation in sports. Several states have enacted them this year.

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