On Monday, the Florida House discussed the latest version of HB 1421. If passed, this bill would roughly codify a ban on “gender-related” clinical interventions by making the process cumbersome, unaffordable and prohibitively expensive. The bill has made its way quickly through the Sunshine State’s bigoted political apparatus, as nothing moves faster than conservatives meddling in the lives of citizens.
Like all right-wing culture wars, this one has its roots in the Christian conservative movement and does not simply plan to reclaim women’s rights and reproductive rights. At some point, anyone who fails to follow the political leaders of the vapid false-religious false moralism of the conservative Christian movement will lose their rights.
That the conservative movement continues to rehash its longstanding homophobia and fascism by taking advantage of the existence of trans people is just the latest version of a very old and discriminatory set of actions. On Monday, anti-women, anti-immigrant families and anti-choice “for life” state representative Webster Barnaby stepped in to remind everyone just how discriminatory and hateful HB 1421 truly is.
One of the most mind-blowing aspects of conservative anti-trans, anti-education, and anti-free school lunch rhetoric is how many of these conservatives side with the Emperor in “Star Wars” and don’t seem to understand why everyone is appalled. on them. Barnaby began by saying that he “looks at today’s society, and it’s like watching an ‘X-Men’ movie”. Okaaaaay. “It’s like we have mutants, living among us, on planet Earth.”
Jesus H. Christ, man. He then went on to mix and match his comic book characters saying that there are “people who are happy to show off as if they are mutants from another planet”. Then he blurted out, “This is planet Earth.” (Wait until he hears there are, like, mostly non-Christians living on “planet Earth!”) If that wasn’t offensive enough, Barnaby added more anger. and volume to his voice, howling: male, and female, female. I am a proud conservative Christian Republican. I’m not on the fence. Not on the fence. It’s clear, man.
He went on to explain that there is “so much darkness in the world” and also “so much evil”, and that only people like Barnaby are willing to “take on the evil, the dysphoria, the dysfunction”. . He then launches into a boring but wildly offensive version of “The Exorcist”, saying, “The Lord rebukes you, Satan, and all your demons, and all your imps,” which is a sort of Zachariah bastardy. Barnaby then went from being generally offensive and unintelligent to truly obnoxious, chastising the “parade before us – that’s right, I called you demons and imps, who come and parade past us and claim you’re part of this world.”
Mr. Webster Barnaby is truly a little man. A scared little man.
Lawyer Alejandra Caraballo points out that this kind of open vitriol is the definition of discrimination, which is technically unconstitutional. “It is extremely difficult to prove unconstitutional animosity in legislation and this representative has just succeeded in doing so explicitly within the framework of legislative debate. He may have single-handedly helped to prove discriminatory intent to have it banned in court,” Caraballo tweeted. But as we’ve seen time and time again, brains aren’t all that important to right-wing anti-trans activists like Barnaby.
As many people have pointed out, the one thing Barnaby got right is that the trans community has long gravitated to the “X-Men” story, like many marginalized people before them. There’s even a really old meme about it that speaks directly to Webster’s anxieties.
This is the opening of the 2000 movie “X-Men”. It’s hard to imagine how Republicans like Barnaby continue lacks the grade-level moral of the simplest stories.
Republished with permission from Daily Kos.
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