not afraid

Gay, Democrat lawmaker gives scathing speech, blasting GOP colleague

Missouri Rep. Ian Mackey
Rep. Ian Mackey launched a scathing attack on a Republican colleague over his lack of support for LGBTQ rights (Photo: Twitter)

A passionate speech given by a Democratic Representative has gone viral.

Ian Mackey, 35, is gay and represents Missouri’s district 87 (in Saint Louis). The state is currently debating legislation (HB 2140) that would potentially prohibit trans girls from competing in school sports in alignment with their gender identity.

Mackey’s comments on Thursday evening were directed at Republican Rep. Chuck Basye, 63, who supports the proposed legislation.

Last year, Chuck Basye revealed that he had a gay brother, Scott. He had been scared to come out to Chuck for some time because he feared his brother’s reaction.

Basye previously said his brother should not have worried. Mackey argued that it was exactly this sort of legislation that made LGBTQ people worry about coming out.

Watch the speech below.

“I recall a story you told about your brother,” Mackey says, addressing Basye on the floor of the House Chamber. “And I remember you said that your brother called, or that your mother called you, I believe, to tell you that your brother had some news that he was afraid to tell you.

“And your brother wanted to tell you that he was gay, didn’t he?” asks Mackey.

Bayse says, “Erm, he was expressing that to the family. He thought that we would hold that against him and not let my children be around him.”

“Why do you think he thought that?” asks Mackey.

“I don’t know,” replies Bayse. “It never would have happened, I tell you that. My kids at that point in their life adored my brother.”

Related: Out senator breaks down during debate over ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill

Mackey responds, “Can I tell you, if I were your brother, I would have been afraid to tell you too … Because of stuff like this,” he says, indicating the legislation. “Because this is what you’re focussed 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 and I grew up in Hickory County, Missouri. 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, and then went to the ballot and voted for crap like this!

“And I couldn’t wait to get out. I couldn’t wait to move to a part of our state that would reject this stuff in a minute. I couldn’t wait. And thank God I made it. Thank God I made it out. And 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.

“Gentlemen, I’m not afraid of you anymore. Because you’re gonna lose. You may win this today, but you’re going to lose.”

Related: Missouri capitol swiftly removes LGBTQ history exhibition after GOP aide complains

HB 2140 is actually a wide-ranging elections bill that would seek to introduce voter ID, among other measures. It was only last week that an amendment was added permitting public school districts to put a measure on the local ballot that, if approved, would ban trans girls from participating in girls’ sports.

HB 2140 has gone forward for a fiscal review before further debate.

Mackey’s impassioned words appeared to have no effect on Bayse. The GOP Rep. later posted a message to Facebook calling Mackey a “loudmouth crybaby.”

“Representative Ian 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! I was called a Nazi, misogynist, a supporter of sexual assault and abuse, and I was aligned with North Korea, Russia and Iran! 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!!”

Yesterday, Bayse continued to demonstrate how little he cares.