There are a lot of Republican lawmakers who oppose same-sex marriage, but Missouri State Rep. Rick Brattin takes discrimination against the LGBT community to a whole new level, saying on Monday, “there is a distinction between homosexuality and just being a human being.”
Brattin, who argues that extending discrimination protections to LGBT people in Missouri might infringe upon other citizens’ religious liberty, isn’t just some random internet troll. He’s currently serving his third term in the Missouri House of Representatives, representing the state’s 55th Legislative District.
Don’t write this off as nothing more than political rhetoric. This is the type of language that people in power have historically used to dehumanize minorities, in this case the LGBT community. He’s (not surprisingly) using religion as a justification, citing the “tenets of religion, of the Bible, of the Qu’ran, of other religions.”
No matter what you believe, no matter what your ancient (and allegedly sacred) text says, people are people. Regardless of your sexual orientation, gender, race, creed, religion, or lack of religion, we are all human and we all deserve equal rights.
We also deserve representatives who support equality. And if people like Brattin refuse to offer it, we have to do everything in our power to make sure they don’t win more elections.
The Kansas City Star certainly suggested that in an editorial this week:
The statement, made on the Missouri House floor, was deplorable. It betrayed a stunning lack of understanding of theology and self-government: The Constitution protects all Americans from the tyranny of any single faith-based approach to secular law.
They also noted that Brattin has a history of trying to curtail the rights of others and promote the Bible over the Constitution:
He has sought an equal footing for teaching creationism in public schools. He proposed requiring the father’s consent before an abortion except in cases of “legitimate rape.” He suggested college football players who refuse to play for political reasons should lose their scholarships.
Brattin made his comments during debate over a bill that would have included an amendment “prohibiting discrimination in the state on the basis of sexual orientation or gender status.” That amendment didn’t make it in. The bill, which ultimately passed, will “make it more difficult to sue for discrimination.” Which is to say: Brattin’s comments may have been despicable, but his views are the ones shared by the majority in the State House.
Brattin didn’t immediately return our requests for comment.
(Screenshot via YouTube)