Even Republicans want nothing to do with this ridiculous Missouri Don’t Say Gay copycat bill

Ann Kelley speaking in the Missouri House of Representatives.

A Missouri lawmaker was left red-faced after being grilled by a fellow Republican representative over her ‘Don’t Say Gay’ copycat bill.

State representative Ann Kelley’s proposed legislation would effectively ban “sexual orientation and gender identity” from all Missouri classrooms.

HB634 – of which Kelley is the only sponsor – was challenged for its exceptionally broad and vague language by a committee during a public hearing.

Fellow Missouri Republican, Phil Christofanelli, tore into the bill in a now-viral clip during the hearing, saying that it wouldn’t allow the state to mention George Washington’s wife.

After reading out the bill’s section on gender identity and sexuality, Christofanelli asked: “Who is Martha Washington?”

Kelley responded by saying she was the wife of America’s first president, George Washington.

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Christofanelli responded: “With your bill, how could that be mentioned in the classroom?”

Kelley replied, to audible laughs from the viewing gallery behind her: “To me, that’s not sexual orientation.”

After Christofanelli accused the lawmaker of only wanting to remove the teaching of “certain” sexual orientations, Kelley asked whether he had any better language to improve the bill.

“Lady, I didn’t introduce your bill and I didn’t write it,” he said.

“You wrote it, and so I’m asking you what it means – which sexual orientations do you believe should be prohibited from Missouri classrooms?”

After a cringeworthy moment of silence, Kelley evaded questions about the language of the bill and, instead, began ranting about her “moral compass”.

But, in response, the Republican committee member simply chalked the claims about moral beliefs up to a desire to enforce “personal beliefs” in the classroom.

“You said that you didn’t want teachers’ personal beliefs entering the classroom,” he said. “But it seems a lot like your personal beliefs, you would like to enter all Missouri classrooms.”

Ann Kelley then, once again, evaded the question and began claiming that a person could have moral beliefs without “putting that on to somebody else”, while still advocating for a bill that would force her beliefs on to thousands of people.

When pressed yet again about whether her bill would restrict the mention of Martha Washington in classrooms, she replied: “I don’t know.”

The backlash Kelley has received from both Missourians and lawmakers suggests the bill won’t go far.

Prior to this, Kelley proposed an amendment to the Missouri House of Representatives dress code, which would require all women to wear jackets.

Lawmakers called it ridiculous, while others pointed out the blatant misogyny in only suggesting the amendments for women.