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Florida lawmaker apologizes for calling transgender people ‘mutants’ and ‘demons’

A Republican Florida state lawmaker apologized Monday after calling transgender people “demons” and “mutants” during a legislative hearing.

State Rep. Webster Barnaby spoke out against transgender people earlier in the day during a Commerce Committee hearing on the Safe Private Spaces Act, a bill that would criminalize the use of toilets that match people’s gender identity when the toilets don’t match their “biology”. sex.”

Barnaby, who called himself a conservative Christian, strongly defended the bill, saying he was “not hesitant” about what it would do.

“We have people living among us today on planet earth who are happy to show off as if they were mutants from another planet. This is planet earth with men, men and women created by God,” he said.

“It’s true, I called you demons and elves who come to parade before us and claim that you are part of this world,” he added.

Barnaby then issued an apology.

“I would like to apologize to the trans community for calling you demons,” he said.

Barnaby, who was first elected to the Florida House in 2020, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday evening.

In recent years, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and the state’s GOP-dominated legislature have passed laws banning classroom discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity in elementary schools, with related measures under consideration during the current legislative session.

Last month, Florida joined more than half a dozen other states in restricting transition-related medical care for minors. The Florida Board of Medicine has enacted a rule that prohibits minors from starting puberty blockers or hormone therapy, prompting backlash from parents of transgender youth in the state.


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