A Republican congresswoman who begged her colleagues to oppose a bill that would have protected same-sex unions statewide went viral on Thursday. Her gay nephew is currently making waves as well.
In a video he shared on TikTok, Andrew Hartzler criticized his aunt, Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo., for her sob-inducing criticism of the Respect for Marriage Act. As of Friday afternoon, the video had been viewed over 556,000 times.
In the video, 24, can be heard saying, “Today, my aunt Vicky started crying because LGBT people like me can get married. So even though I came out to my aunt this past February, I suppose she’s still just as homophobic.
It was impossible to get in touch with the congresswoman’s representative for a response.
On the House floor on Thursday, the Republican congresswoman who had earlier this year lost her race broke down and begged her colleagues to vote against the bipartisan legislation for the sake of religious liberty.
“Marriage equality is one step closer to being codified into federal law. The U.S. House of Representatives voted 258-169 in favor of the legislation. It now heads to President Joe Biden’s desk for his signature.” https://t.co/OpGjD5PfFi
— GLAAD (@glaad) December 10, 2022
“Let me tell you what my priorities are: safeguarding religious freedom, safeguarding believers, and safeguarding Americans who believe in the genuine meaning of marriage, “Hartzler cried as he spoke. “I sincerely hope and pray that my colleagues will have the guts to join me in opposing this dangerous and stupid law.
Within hours, her speech went viral online, garnering the attention of numerous traditional media sites and receiving thousands, if not millions, of views on social media.
Her nephew said in an interview with NBC News that he felt forced to speak out against her after hearing her speech go viral so that his last name would not be “connected with evil.”
He said, “The Hartzler name ought to stand for love.
Andrew, who resides in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and works in social services, grew up in Kansas City, Missouri, just around the corner from his aunt. He claimed to remember going on picnics, bike rides and trips to Washington, D.C. with her as a child. On their family vacations, he said, he would get up early so his aunt could take him through the network of tunnels that runs beneath the Capitol Building.
However, he claimed that when he came out to her as gay in February, she rejected him, just like other family members had in years past. The same kind of “I love you, but I don’t accept you because you’re gay” response was given to him, he claimed. I believe that if you are against me, you are against me, and if you don’t accept me completely, you reject me.
The two haven’t communicated since, according to Andrew. But he also said that although his aunt had invited him to join her family for Thanksgiving dinner, he didn’t feel at ease doing so. Andrew, who claimed to have had so-called homosexual conversion therapy and to have struggled with his sexuality since childhood, expressed concern that his aunt’s emotional address on the House floor would have a negative impact on the mental health of other LGBTQ Americans.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation to protect same-sex marriage in ‘a bipartisan vote that reflects a remarkable shift in public opinion just over a quarter-century after Congress defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman.’ https://t.co/WNupzyY850
— Humanists UK (@Humanists_UK) December 9, 2022
He gave the following examples of the disproportionate numbers of mental health problems affecting the nation’s LGBTQ youths: According to a poll conducted by the LGBTQ youth suicide prevention organisation The Trevor Project earlier this year, over half of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer teens in the United States have “seriously considered” suicide in the past year.
Andrew remarked, “The kind of narrative my aunt is presenting, has real-world implications. “I wouldn’t be doing them any favors if I didn’t refute her story with the facts.”
Andrew has already spoken out in support of the LGBTQ community. He took part in a class action suit brought against the Department of Education last year in an effort to repeal a federal civil rights law exception that, in the suit’s assertion, permits religiously affiliated universities that receive federal funding to “openly discriminate” against LGBTQ students.
Rep. Hartzler argued that the Respect for Marriage Act “disrespects the importance of traditional marriage for the health of a family” and that it’s “only purpose is to hand the federal government a legal bludgeoning tool to drive people of faith out of the public square and silence anyone who dissents.”
The legislation includes a clarification that states neither the government nor religious organizations are compelled to perform same-sex unions or to provide protection for polygamous unions. The congresswoman referred to the amendment as “empty” in her address.
Andrew remarked, “I find it incredibly intriguing how my aunt and other religious rights activists only use the terms religious freedom or religious liberties when they’re talking about restricting other people’s rights. They use that as a justification for their obvious bigotry.
The law will safeguard interracial unions as well as ensure that the federal government acknowledges properly executed same-sex unions. States would not be compelled to provide marriage licenses that go against their own laws.
A vote of 258 to 169 allowed the bill to pass the House, with 39 Republicans voting in favor. It was approved by the Senate last week on a bipartisan basis, with the support of 12 Republicans, and President Joe Biden is set to sign it into law.
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