Hateful Florida Republican calls trans people demons, imps & mutants in floor speech

State Rep. Webster Barnaby
State Rep. Webster Barnaby Photo: Campaign website

A Florida Republican has come under fire for referring to transgender people as “demons” and “mutants.”

Florida state Rep. Webster Barnaby (R) made the comments yesterday during a state House Commerce Committee hearing on H.B. 1521, a bill that would ban transgender people from using the correct restrooms and changing facilities in numerous buildings, including schools, government buildings, homeless shelters, businesses open to the public, and health care facilities. Instead, trans people would be forced to use the facilities associated with their sex assigned at birth.

“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,” Barnaby said during the hearing. “This is the planet Earth! Where God created men male and women female!”

“I’m a proud Christian conservative Republican!” he stressed. “I’m not on the fence! Not on the fence! There is so much darkness in our world today. So much evil in our world today.”

Then he said that “evil, dysphoria, dysfunction” are taking over.

“The Lord rebuke you, Satan, and all of your demons and all of your imps who come parade before us,” Barnaby continued. “That’s right, I called you demons and imps, who come and parade before us and pretend that you are part of this world.”

“I’m still a little bit thrown off from the last comments here,” state Rep. Kristen Arrington (D) said after Barnaby’s speech. “[I] just really want to let you all know that there are many here who understand and support you,” she told people who came to oppose the bill.

Even some Republicans attempted to walk back Barnaby’s comments.

“You’re not an evil being,” state Rep. Chase Tramont (R) told the audience. “I believe that you’re fearfully and wonderfully made, and I want you to live your life well.”

Later in the day, Barnaby apologized.

“I referred to trans people as demons,” Barnaby said. “I would like to apologize to the trans community for referring to you as demons.”

The bill, if passed, would impose criminal penalties on transgender people who use the correct facilities and don’t “immediately depart” if a cisgender person asks them to. It also requires schools to discipline transgender students who use the facilities associated with their gender.

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