Animated Wolverine, Rogue, and Gambit of the X-Men.

Yet Another GOP Lawmaker Gets Pop Culture Completely Backwards in Horrible Anti-Trans Rant

Some dongus that no one has ever heard of made his first-ever headline today by calling trans people “demons” and “mutants.” It’s not the worst thing I’ve ever heard a Republican politician say regarding trans people, but it’s pretty high up on the list. Sadly, his statements fall directly in line with the state of Republican politics as a whole in this country.

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He’s also not the first GOP politician to get pop culture so spectacularly wrong that you can’t imagine how they could be more wrong. The world champion of that is, of course, Senator Ted Cruz. This latest entry is the first GOP politician, however, to say something so completely dehumanizing to the trans community in an official capacity that he actually ended up apologizing. This just in: hell has frozen over—or maybe he just had second thoughts about the implications of saying the quiet part loud.

Let’s do a little deep dive into who he is, shall we?

Meet Webster Barnaby, a Republican Senator from Florida who made these statements during a hearing in front of the entire Floridian House of Representatives. Why? Because LGBTQ advocates and trans people were there that day speaking out against a bathroom bill that would make it a crime for a person to use a bathroom that does not align with the gender they were assigned at birth. He listened to these people appeal for themselves and then launched into his tirade while they were still in the room. So what exactly did he say?

“This is the planet Earth, where God created men male and women female.”

Okay that doesn’t surprise me, that’s all pretty par for the course for the party of Jesus and tax evasion. He fails to understand that his God is technically non-binary, as a higher divinity exits outside of the confines of gender, but we’ll let that slide. Don’t wanna break his little brain.

“The lord rebuke you, Satan, and all of your demons and all of your imps who come parade before us.” Okay, now this is real bad. This is on par with Nazi hate speech right here. He must have apologized right after this right? Nope. He doubled down: “That’s right, I called you demons and imps, who come and parade before us and pretend that you are part of this world.” Mind you, some of the “demons and imps” in the room were literal children who had come to speak out against the bill. Remember when Jesus said, “Let the children come to me,” Barnaby? Do you think the next part of that statement is “so I can club them over the head with a thick Bible”?

Barnaby then went on to ramble about how trans people are “mutants,” just like in the “X-Men” movies that he’s seen. I highly doubt this geriatric man was able to stay awake over the course of any two-hour film, but that’s besides the point. The irony here is that the X-Men were created to be an allegory for real-world bigotry against, and persecution of, people who are different—something the LGBTQ community has very much identified with. You know, different than everyone else? Way sexier? Impeccably dressed? Yet subject to persecution from the government and the population at large? Beaten? Degraded? Misunderstood? Not ringing any bells there, Barnaby? Just as I suspected, the lights are on, but there’s nobody home.

Now, the silver lining here is that, according to the wise and wonderful Alejandra Caraballo, Barnaby may have singlehandedly proved that this legislation was made with “unconstitutional animus.” What is unconstitutional animus? It is when a legislative body makes a law with a hostile intent that is not supported by legitimate government interest. The government is prohibited from making laws that discriminate against people based on race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation.

Wait but that’s what all Republicans are doing with these anti-trans bills, right? Yes, but according to Caraballo, it is very difficult to prove that in court. Most Republicans lawmakers cover up their hatred of trans people by saying that anti-trans bills are meant to “protect” children and women, not to bash the community. Barnaby, however, managed to say the quiet part out loud, and his statements could be proof of “discriminatory intent” that would get the law enjoined in court. Now what does enjoined mean? Basically it means that although a law has passed, a federal judge has ruled that it cannot be enforced because it is unconstitutional, making the law effectively moot.

Nice job, Barnaby! Your virulent hatred of trans people may have just served to protect them from the law that you fought so desperately fought to pass. I wonder if that’s why you were suddenly sorry for saying the things you very purposefully said. It’s time for you to go home now.

(via Politico, featured image: Marvel)

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Jack Doyle
Jack Doyle (they/them) is actually nine choirs of biblically accurate angels crammed into one pair of $10 overalls. They have been writing articles for nerds on the internet for less than a year now. They really like anime. Like... REALLY like it. Like you know those annoying little kids that will only eat hotdogs and chicken fingers? They're like that... but with anime. It's starting to get sad.