Kentucky Republican calls out GOP for anti-LGBTQ bills no one wants
Right now, it’s unclear whether the University of L’s men’s basketball team or Kentucky’s LGBTQ community had the worst year. At least the Sad Cards have won four games, LGBTQ folks are still winless this season.
What season?” It would be the one in Frankfurt where the Kentucky General Assembly meets and considers a tsunami of bills that attack, attack, attack people – including helpless children – who happen to be gay or transgender, designations that concern no one.
I lobby for the Fairness Campaign, the advocacy group trying to contain the carnage. It’s like trying to turn back the sea. Every week, our team organizes triage meetings to decide which anti-gay measure is worse than another in order to schedule appearances to offer testimony in opposition.
I wish I could blame both political parties for this cataclysm, but I can’t. Every anti-gay/trans bill this session has been introduced by a Republican. But there is hope. GOP state Reps. Kim Banta, Stephanie Dietz, Kim Moser, Killian Timoney, and Sen. Stephen Meredith voted this session against turning LGBTQ Kentuckians into second-class citizens.
Transgender children are prime targets of the vendetta: what pronouns can be used to describe them in our public schools (I’m not making this up), what medical care they can get, what psychological services they can get, what bathrooms children may use in a public school among other impairments.
Gay adults have been singled out for particular humiliation by having to face a bill that addresses one of the Commonwealth’s most critical issues: who can attend drag shows and where they can be performed; an artistic expression (dance) that threatens absolutely no one.
Aren’t there more pressing issues? :Tennessee Republicans Target America’s Biggest Threat: Drag Shows
Who exactly wants these punitive laws?
Other than the ironically named Family Foundation, not a single school principal, medical professional, parent, person from a Kiwanis chapter, Rotary, FOP lodge, VFW post, Knights of Columbus, Ducks Unlimited or the Ancient Order of Hibernians testified at any committee meeting to advocate for anti-gay/trans bills. PERSON. Dozens of people, representing professional and religious organizations or simply themselves, testify against these pernicious measures, but the bills always roll out of the committee like a field of horses springing from the starting grid.
It’s a contradictory view for pro-life Republican lawmakers who believe that all human life, born or unborn, is sacred. One cannot simultaneously defend innocent life and belittle the lives of our equally innocent gay sisters and brothers as nothing more than names printed on a birth certificate. As one of the co-founders of the Republican Party, Abraham Lincoln, said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”
The anti-gay blitzkrieg in Frankfurt has metastasized due, in large part, to the deafening silence of GOP leaders. Kentucky American senses Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul have failed to speak out against this anti-gay/transgender child abuse in the most explicit and unambiguous terms, remarks that would provide sage advice to Republican lawmakers who admire them.
Senator McConnell didn’t hesitate for a second when, in a long-winded speech, he condemned Donald Trump’s treacherous attempt to overthrow the 2020 election. The longest-serving leader of the US Senate in American history should, well , lead, when human rights are so gravely threatened in our State Capitol.
Senator Rand Paul stands for “freedom” and “freedom” and keeps the heavy hand of government out of our lives. Does he truly believe in maximizing individual freedom or is he “a clanging gong and a clattering cymbal” who tacitly condones a blatant exception based on sexual orientation?
Where are Senate Speaker Robert Stivers and House Speaker David Osborne? I know the two gentlemen well; I served in the legislature with Robert and knew David from our association with horse racing. They are intelligent, honest and principled leaders, as evidenced by the fact that they have been elected and re-elected by their peers to the important positions they hold. No one will ever convince me that either man supports this murderous campaign of intimidation against a small minority of Kentuckians, not because of “who” the victims are, but because of “what” they are. . How will history judge them when these heinous bills, if they become law, are finally repealed as troublesome anachronisms by a future Republican legislature?
For this former history student, it always comes down to “what would Abraham Lincoln do?” In 1864 the president wrote in a letter to an editor in Frankfurt that “if slavery is not bad, nothing is bad”. While codified discrimination against gay/transgender children is not wrong, there is nothing wrong. Whether a legislator is writing a local, state, or federal law, they should always ask themselves, “Would I want this law to apply to my own family?” Will he treat anyone affected “with malice to none, with charity to all?”
Bob Heleringer, a Republican, served in the Kentucky House of Representatives from 1980 to 2002. He can be reached at email@example.com.