In a dramatic speech that targeted his opposition’s family, a gay Democratic representative in Missouri slammed a GOP colleague over the state’s “Save Women’s Sports” bill which seeks to prevent trans-female athletes from competing in women’s sports.
The debate, which took place Thursday night in the state House Chamber, quickly got personal as Ian Mackey, 35, honed in on the gay brother of Chuck Basye, 63, who was reportedly afraid to come out to his sibling for fear it would be “held against him.”
“So, I recall a story you told about your brother,” Mackey told Basye. “And I remember you said 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?”
“He was expressing that to the family, and he thought that we would hold that against him and not let our children be around him,” Basye replied.
When asked why his brother might have thought that, Basye stated, “I don’t know. It never would have happened, I’ll tell you that. My kids at that point in their lives adored my brother.”
— Nancy Lee Grahn (@NancyLeeGrahn) April 15, 2022
“Can I tell you that if I were your brother, I would have been afraid to tell you, too,” Mackey shot back. “I would have been afraid to tell you too, because of stuff like this. Because this is what you’re focused on. This is what 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,” Mackey said. “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 then 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,” Mackey continued. “Because you’re gonna lose. You may win this today, but you’re going to lose.”
The impassioned speech, which failed to address the actual bill, was immediately applauded by Dems on social media, but Basye appeared to be unfazed.
In a subsequent post on Facebook, Basye dismissed the charge as nothing more than a campaign stunt.
“Representative Ian Mackey is a loudmouth crybaby,” Bayse stated. “He was campaigning on the floor of the Missouri House of Representatives. He is worried about his re-election and his rhetoric during the debate has absolutely nothing to do with the amendment I offered to House Bill 2140.”
“During the 3 hour debate the radical democrats attacked my character and made many slanderous accusations!” the representative continued. “I was called a Nazi, misogynist, a supporter of sexual assault and abuse, and I was aligned with North Korea, Russia and Iran!”
“It didn’t phase me at all,” Basye said. “I went home afterwards, enjoyed a delicious glass of Maker’s 46 Bourbon then laid down and slept like a baby!!”
When the post hit Twitter, Mackey responded with a gif of “The Most Interesting Man in the World” brushing the accusation off, and a comment: “I look forward to seeing Chair Bayse (sic) at Tuesday’s 9am House Education Committee hearing.”
I look forward to seeing Chair Bayse at Tuesday’s 9am House Education Committee hearing. pic.twitter.com/3p4uErOZtN
— Ian Mackey (@IanMack03007724) April 15, 2022
Meanwhile, as if she wanted to prove Basye’s point, one former Missouri candidate used the theatrical moment to call for donations to Mackey’s campaign.
Hey y’all, this is State Rep. Ian Mackey fighting against an amendment proposed by State Rep. Chuck Basye that would allow school districts to discriminate against trans students.
If you have an extra $5 please send it Rep. Mackey’s way!https://t.co/UFnc21N61s
— Lindsey Simmons (@LynzforCongress) April 15, 2022