Republicans refuse to allow anyone to speak against what they want to do, even if that person is a fellow republican. This is because they demand to rule the public, not to serve the public. They demand power so they can use that power to force all others to follow their conservative religious dictates. And this is happening all over the country, as we have seen. Hugs
It happened again. Representative Chris Sander, a gay Republican, raised his hand to speak on a bill. Republicans instead chose to silence opposition and did not allow him to speak.
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The Republican Party has repeatedly barred discussion on LGBTQ+ bills this year. Despite holding supermajorities in numerous instances, they have frequently silenced oppositional voices. Notably, in Oklahoma, GOP members censured Representative Mauree Turner, a Black, nonbinary representative. In Kentucky, an attempt was made to hold a hearing without any Democratic representatives. This was announced during a lunch break when microphones were turned off. A recent incident in Montana saw transgender Rep. Zooey Zephyr ejected from the house floor and silenced simply for speaking to the harm these bills cause, preventing her from commenting on anti-trans bills. Today, in Missouri, the GOP restricted Democrats to 15 minutes of debate against a bill prohibiting gender-affirming care for trans youth. During the vote, gay Republican Rep. Chris Sander was denied the opportunity to speak against the bill despite signaling his intent, keeping his hand raised for the entirety of the vote.
The bill itself, SB49, bans gender affirming care for transgender youth. Though it grandfathers youth already receiving treatment in, there will be many trans youth on waitlists who will be entirely shut out. It also bans Medicaid coverage for transgender adults and surgery for transgender incarcerated individuals. All of these provisions are separate from the ongoing attempt by Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey’s decision to limit most care for transgender adults, banning many of them from transitioning – that decision is currently blocked in court awaiting a final decision.
In a scene eerily familiar to many people who have paid attention to floor debates over anti-trans legislation, Missouri House Speaker, Rep. Dean Plocher, enacted a motion that restricted Democrats to a meager 15 minutes of total discourse on the bill. This appeared to be a calculated move to expedite the bill’s passage with minimal opposition. House Minority Leader, Representative Crystal Quade, used some of her time to denounce this tactic, arguing it silenced representatives’ speech and, in effect, muffled the voice of the citizenry they represent. This contention closely mirrors a recent incident in Montana involving Rep. Zooey Zephyr, who faced silencing and exile when the house speaker there denied her the right to speak.
That comparison would quickly grow stronger as a Republican, Representative Chris Sander, raised his own hand to speak. Local reporter Emily Manley reported that he was never called on despite continually keeping his hand raised. Because Republicans have a choice as to whether they acknowledge their own party member, they opted to not do so.
You can see Rep. Quade’s initial criticism of the GOP’s silencing tactics and Rep. Sander’s hand raised in this video:
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