(MILTON, FL) - Every Floridian wants a community where our kids have the freedom to be themselves and pursue their dreams without judgment. Furthermore, a parent's desire to raise children in a safe and secure environment spans every race, every gender, and every zip code. But Webster Barnaby wants to hold on to Conservative Christian power by putting us all in boxes. These boxes have no basis in Christian theological tradition. His boxes are based on what we look like, who we love, and how much money we have in our wallets.
On Monday, April 10, 2023, Barnaby gave a diatribe, chastising members of the LGBT community, who traveled to Tallahassee to offer public testimony in opposition to an anti-LGBT bill. He called members of the audience "imps", "demons", and "mutants". His reprehensible and hateful rhetoric came under immediate criticism by colleagues serving in the legislature. The video, which has since gone viral, generated national media attention, prompting Barnaby to issue an apology. By that time the damage was done.
Santa Rosa County Democratic Party Communications Director stated: "What we continue to see in Florida is a handful of radical right wing politicians who make it their mission to turn us against our neighbors all in an effort to distract from the defunding of our schools, increase in our property taxes, and the multi-billion dollar taxpayer giveaways to for-profit corporations." This is the type of harmful rhetoric used to demonize our Jewish communities in the lead up to the Holocaust. Similar language was used to describe the enslaved in Florida.
We will not go back, no matter how hard Florida Republicans try. We call on Speaker Renner to sanction Webster Barnaby, remove him from his committees and issue a formal apology to the citizens of Florida on behalf on the Florida House of Representatives.