'Yes I am threatening you': Nebraska Democrat vows to make life 'painful' for Republicans pushing anti-trans bill

'Yes I am threatening you': Nebraska Democrat vows to make life 'painful' for Republicans pushing anti-trans bill
image via Creative Commons.

Nebraska is one of the reddest states in the Midwest. Republicans dominate its state government, and the last Democrat to carry Nebraska in a presidential race was Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. Both of Nebraska’s U.S. senators are Republicans: Deb Fischer and Pete Ricketts.

Nonetheless, the Nebraska State Legislature has a Democratic minority. One of Nebraska's Democratic fighters, according to Esquire’s Charles P. Pierce, is State Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh.

Cavanaugh, Pierce reports in an article published by Esquire on February 27, is taking an aggressive stand against a "grotesque" GOP-sponsored anti-trans bill.

READ MORE:Arkansas Republican asks trans woman about her genitals during hearing on anti-trans bill

"The legislative year had hardly begun when the new Republican majority (in Nebraska) advanced the modern conservative wish list: a fetal 'heartbeat' bill; a permitless 'concealed carry' gun bill; and, most grotesque of all, Legislative Bill 574, which would forbid health-care workers from providing gender-affirming care to anyone under the age of 19," Pierce explains. "Facing this stampede of Fox News hobby-horses, Sen. Cavanaugh rose during the debate over a property-tax bill and explained to the unicameral that she intended to do everything she could to monkey-wrench the whole process. And she did so with refreshing frankness."

Cavanaugh used very blunt language on the floor of the Nebraska State Legislature, warning that she will do anything she can do make life "painful" for her GOP colleagues if they proceed with the anti-trans Nebraska LB 574.

"If this legislature collectively decides that legislating hate against children is our priority, then I am going to make it painful — painful for everyone," Cavanaugh warned. "Because if you want to inflict pain upon our children, I am going to inflict pain upon this body. I have nothing, nothing but time. And I am going to use all of it. You cannot stop me. I will not be stopped. If LB574 gets an early floor debate and moves forward, it will be very painful for this body. And if people are like, 'Is she threatening us?' Let me be clear: Yes, I am threatening you."

Nebraska is by no means the only red state where far-right GOP lawmakers have been proposing anti-trans bills. They are also being pushed in states ranging from North Dakota to Oklahoma to West Virginia.

READ MORE: Watch: Right-wing host wants to 'ban transgenderism entirely' because of 'occult sexual rituals'

Tim Teeman, reporting for the Daily Beast on January 18, observed, "Florida has HB 211. Georgia has HB 401. North Carolina has HB 514, and Tennessee has SB 657. All of these bills — either introduced or soon to make their way through Republican-controlled state legislatures — seek to prohibit health care for trans minors and criminalize any health-care practitioners who provide it, including the prescribing of puberty blockers which trans youth advocates say can be vital for trans teens' well-being."

Pierce, author of the 2010 book "Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free," praises Cavanaugh as a role model for Democratic lawmakers in deep red states where they are heavily outnumbered.

"You make these people own their actions," Pierce advises. "You draw attention to the true nature of what's being done to constituents in ways that they and their donors find inconvenient. You slow down the process so that everybody gets a really good look at it. "

READ MORE: 'The worst anti-trans bill I have ever seen': GOP-led state houses are ramping up efforts to gut LGBTQ+ rights

Read Esquire's full article at this link.

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