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BY Francis Akhalbey, 8:30am April 12, 2023,

Florida Republican legislator who called transgender people ‘mutants’ and ‘demons’ apologizes

State Rep. Webster Barnaby called transgender people "mutants" and "demons" -- Photo via News-Journal

State Rep. Webster Barnaby on Monday rendered an apology to the transgender community after referring to them as “mutants” and “demons.” According to NBC News, the Republican state legislator made the anti-transgender comments during a Commerce Committee hearing on the ‘Safety in Private Spaces Act,’ which took place earlier that Monday.

The aforementioned bill seeks to bar people from using restrooms that do not match their “biological sex” – which is the sex assigned at birth. Anyone who flouts the proposed law will be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor. 

Besides throwing his weight behind the bill during the Monday hearing, Barnaby also rebuked the transgender community. “We have people that live among us today on planet Earth that are happy to display themselves as if they were mutants from another planet. This is the planet Earth with God-created men, male, and women, female,” Barnaby, who describes himself as a conservative Christian, said.

“That’s right, I called you demons and imps who come and parade before us and pretend that you are part of this world.” 

In the wake of Barnaby’s comments, some of his colleague Republicans tried to dissociate themselves from what he said, Politico reported. Some people who spoke at the hearing identified as transgender.

“You’re not an evil being,” Rep. Chase Tramont told the speakers at the hearing. “I believe that you’re fearfully and wonderfully made, and I want you to live your life well.”

Barnaby, 63, apologized shortly after the bill was advanced by Republicans. “I referred to trans people as demons,” Barnaby said. “I would like to apologize to the trans community for referring to you as demons.”

If passed, Florida will join the likes of Iowa, Arkansas, Alabama, Oklahoma, and Tennessee as states that have passed laws pertaining to the use of bathrooms. Over the last few years, Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis, and the state’s Republican majority lawmakers have approved laws that bar primary school classrooms from having discussions about sexual orientation and gender identity, per NBC News.

Last month, Florida also became the latest state to impose restrictions on transition-related medication for transgender youths. 

Last Edited by:Annie-Flora Mills Updated: April 12, 2023


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