Ian Mackey/Facebook; Chuck Basye State Representative/Facebook Ian Mackey, Chuck Basye
An exchange last week between two Missouri state lawmakers went viral after one – who is openly gay – confronted the other – who has a gay brother – about the latter’s support for a measure that would ban transgender girls attending K-12 public schools from being members of women’s sports teams.
The incident occurred Wednesday between Rep. Chuck Basye, a Republican who recently sponsored the amendment, and Democratic Rep. Ian Mackey. Footage of the exchange was later shared on social media, where it has been viewed over a million times.
After Mackey asked Basye to comment on the time his brother went out with his family, Basye admitted that his brother “thought at first that we would hold it against him and that we wouldn’t let my children be around him. “.
It is not, he said.
“That would never have happened,” Basye said. “I’ll tell you. My kids at that point in their lives adored my brother.”
Mackey, however, argued that there was cause for concern over Basye’s opinions.
RELATED: Joe Biden Marks Transgender Awareness Day: ‘We’ve got your back’
“Can I tell you if I was your brother, I would have been afraid to tell you too…because of things like that,” Mackey told him, alluding to the amendment Basye was now sponsoring. “Because that’s what you focus on. That’s the legislation you want to introduce. That’s what takes your time.”
Mackey continued, “I was scared that people like you would grow up…I grew up in a school district that would vote tomorrow to put this in place. And for 18 years I walked around with nice people like you who took me to ball games, who told me how smart I was. [they] went to the polls and voted for bullshit like this. And I was looking forward to getting out, to moving to a part of our state that would reject that stuff.”
Saying “Thank God I made it,” Mackey then expressed his concern for the children he believed would be affected by the passage of the amendment.
“I think every day of the kids who are still here, who didn’t make it, who didn’t escape this kind of bigotry,” he said.
After hours of heated testimony and debate like the one involving Mackey, Basye’s amendment (which was added to an election bill) was approved by an 89-40 vote.
He needed one more vote before he could be sent to the Missouri State Senate, the lawyer reported. Basye said the purpose of the bill was to “save women’s sport”.
RELATED: NYC Shows ‘True Colors’ in Campaign Slamming ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Law, Urging Floridians to Move Out
Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia all have bans in place against athletes transgender.
Some lawmakers have argued that trans athletes have an unfair physical advantage, but doctors and scientists say that’s an oversimplification unsupported by the facts.
Separately, more than 25 different pieces of legislation have also been proposed this year by Republican-led state governments that prevent transgender children from receiving gender-affirming health care. Proponents argue that the restrictions – which have drawn fierce denunciation from advocates and many in the medical community – are necessary to protect children from major medical changes too early in their lives.
“This bill is harmful in two ways,” the president of the American Academy of Pediatrics said in a previous statement. “First, it threatens the health and well-being of transgender youth, and second, it puts politicians rather than pediatricians in charge of a child’s medical care.”
Speaking of “the onslaught of state anti-transgender laws,” last month President Joe Biden marked Transgender Visibility Day with a speech that touched on the various measures.
“To any transgender American in trouble, know that you are not alone. Parents and children alike, please reach out for help,” Biden said. “And know this: you are so brave. You belong. And we have your back.”