Gay Missouri Lawmaker Speaks Out Against Anti-Trans Bill

Missouri State Rep. Ian Mackey (D) spoke out against an anti-trans amendment and admonished Rep. Chuck Basye®, who proposed the amendment, during a legislative session in the Missouri House of Representatives on Wednesday, April 13.

The amendment, which was tacked on to HB 2140, a bill that seeks to change election laws, states: “No public school shall knowingly allow a student of the male sex who is enrolled in such public school to participate on a school-sponsored athletic team that is exclusively for students of the female sex.”

The amendment defines “sex” as “an individual’s biological sex based solely on an individual’s reproductive biology and genetics at birth.”

Mackey, who is gay, mentioned a story Basye had previously shared about Basye’s own brother being afraid to come out as gay to their family. Mackey told Basye he would have been afraid to tell him too.

“Eighteen years I walked around with ‘nice’ people like you. Who took me to ball games, who told me how smart I was, and who 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,” Mackey said in a heated speech.

Mackey concluded saying, “I’m not afraid of you anymore.”

The house debated the amendment for three hours on Wednesday before ultimately approving the provision by 89 votes to 40. Credit: Missouri House of Representatives via Storyful

Video transcript

CHUCK BAYSE: Portions of it. It simply states that any school district in the state may adopt provisions.

- Gentleman, can you restate the motion with your LR number, please?

CHUCK BAYSE: Yes, it's a 0.218, and it has been distributed in a move for its adoption.

- The gentleman from Boone [INAUDIBLE] adoption of House Amendment 2, gentleman from Boone.

CHUCK BAYSE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Again, any school district in the state of Missouri may adopt provisions of the subsections two and three if approved by votes of residents of the school district. So basically what this will do is no public school shall knowingly allow a student of the male sex who is enrolled in such public school to participate in the school-sponsored athletic team that is exclusively for the students of the female sex.

And sex in this amendment is defined as an individual's biological sex, based solely on the individual's reproductive biology and genetics at birth. Be happy to answer any questions.

- Discussion on House Amendment 2. Gentleman from St. Louis County.

IAN MACKEY: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. May I inquire of the amendment maker?

- Gentleman from Boone, do you yield?

CHUCK BAYSE: Yes, I do.

- Proceed.

IAN MACKEY: Gentleman, I am going to try to keep this civil. I have so enjoyed working with you on so many issues in this building. And you know how I feel about this. And this is--

CHUCK BAYSE: And you probably know how I feel about this.

IAN MACKEY: Just hold on a minute. Just hold on a minute. This is the only issue that I take personally that we discuss. This is it. And I've made it clear that we can agree to disagree and still love each other and still move forward, unless-- and I'm not the first person to say this. This came from James Baldwin. Unless the root of our disagreement is in my right to exist, and that's what you're doing with this legislation.

We can't move past that. We cannot agree to disagree on that. Do you remember your remarks on the floor last year when you brought this up?

CHUCK BAYSE: It would-- you'd have to give me a specific. I mean, I made a lot of remarks last year.

IAN MACKEY: Sure. So I recall a story you told about your brother.

CHUCK BAYSE: OK.

IAN MACKEY: And I remember you said that your brother called-- 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?

CHUCK BAYSE: He was expressing that to the family. He thought that we would hold that against him and not let my children be around him.

IAN MACKEY: Why do you think he thought that?

CHUCK BAYSE: I don't know. It never would have happened, I'll tell you that. My kids at that point in their life adored my brother.

IAN MACKEY: Can I tell you, if I were your brother, I would have been afraid to tell you too.

CHUCK BAYSE: Well, I'm sorry.

IAN MACKEY: 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, 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 ballgames, who told me how smart I was. And they 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 going to lose. You may win this today, but you're going to lose. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

- Further discussion on House Amendment 2?

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting