TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — A Republican lawmaker who called transgender activists “demons, mutants, and imps” during a House committee meeting is facing expulsion from the Florida Legislative Black Caucus for violating their discrimination policy.
“I’m looking at society today and it’s like I’m watching an X-Men movie,” Rep. Webster Barnaby (R-Volusia) said last Monday, speaking to transgender opponents against a new bathroom ban bill. “It’s like we have mutants living among us on planet Earth. This is the planet Earth! Where God created men, male, and women, female!”
“I’m not afraid to address the dysphoria or the dysfunction,” he continued, referencing protesters who discussed their gender dysphoria. “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! And all of your demons and all of your imps, who come and parade before us. That’s right, I called you demons and imps, who come and parade before us, and pretend you are part of this world.”
“NOT A CHRIST-LIKE RESPONSE”
The Florida Legislative Black Caucus is a bipartisan group made up of 25 state legislators: five Senators and 20 House Reps. According to their website, their primary purpose is to ameliorate the social, fiscal, and economic issues Black Floridians face.
In response to Rep. Barnaby, the FLBC tweeted out their plan to “enter a meeting motion to ‘Expel’ him from its organizations.” They stated that his behavior “violates our Non-Discrimination Policy.”
Following the Rep’s incendiary comments, both Democratic and Republican legislators came out in condemnation of the rhetoric.
“The violence and the name-calling are not acceptable,” Sen. Clay Yarborough (R-Jacksonville) said on the Senate floor last week, “I condemn that, and that is not a Christ-like response.”
Sen. Shevrin Jones (D-Miami), a fellow member of the FLBC, said in a press release: “This kind of vitriol, and discriminatory rhetoric, wrapped in religion no less, is not only deeply hypocritical, but also contributes to higher incidents of physical assault and fatal violence seen against an already vulnerable community.”
APOLOGIES, THE XMEN, AND “REALVILLE, PLANET EARTH”
Later in the committee meeting, Barnaby offered an apology, stating “I would like to apologize to the trans community for referring to you as demons”. However, he has since posted a photo entitled “Welcome to Realville, Planet Earth. Est. 2023, Mayor Webster Barnaby”, and subsequently liked a slew of tweets complementing his rhetoric.
Soon after Barnaby’s statements, his Twitter account appeared to be hacked, as his background profile photo was changed to a picture of the word “XMEN” in bright yellow.