On Thursday, a Republican congressman became an internet sensation after pleading with her colleagues to vote against a bill that would make same-sex marriage legal everywhere in the country. Now, her nephew who is LGBT is becoming popular online as well.
Andrew Hartzler criticized his aunt, Republican Representative Vicky Hartzler of Missouri, in a video that he uploaded to TikTok and which, as of Friday afternoon, had received over 556,000 views. In the video, Andrew criticized his aunt for her emotional response to a previous vote on the Respect for Marriage Act.
Andrew, who is 24 years old, can be heard in the video, which was posted on Thursday, saying, “Today, my aunt Vicky started crying because homosexual people like me may get married.” Even though I came out as gay to my aunt in February of this year, I guess it doesn’t matter how much of a homophobe she is. It was not possible to get in touch with a representative of the congresswoman for comment.
On Thursday, the Republican congressman, who had earlier this year been defeated in her primary election, sobbed on the floor of the House of Representatives while appealing to her colleagues to vote against the bipartisan legislation to protect religious liberty.
“I’ll tell you what my goals are: protecting religious liberty, protecting people of faith, and protecting Americans who believe marriage should have its original meaning “I’m sorry,” Hartzler said through sobs. “I sincerely wish and pray that my fellow senators would summon the moral fortitude to stand with me in opposition to this ill-conceived and potentially hazardous bill.
Within a few hours, her speech went viral on the internet, receiving shares from several traditional media outlets and receiving tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of views on social media.
After witnessing her speech that went viral, her nephew gave an interview to NBC News in which he stated that he felt forced to speak out against her so that his family name would not be “connected with hate.” He stated that the Hartzler name ought to be synonymous with affection.
Andrew, who currently resides in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and works in the field of social services there, spent his childhood in Kansas City, Missouri, directly across the street from his aunt. He mentioned that he has fond childhood memories of going on excursions with her to Washington, D.C., as well as picnics and bike rides.
He went on to say that whenever his family went on vacation, he would get up extra early in the mornings so that his aunt could guide him through the network of tunnels that were buried beneath the Capitol Building. But in February, when he revealed his sexual orientation to her, she rejected him, just as other members of the family had done in the years before, he said.
He remarked, “I was confronted with the same type of, ‘I love you, but I don’t accept you because you’re gay,'” and that was the response that he received. “I have the mentality that if you aren’t for me, you are against me, and if you don’t accept me one hundred percent, you don’t accept me at all.”
According to Andrew, the two have not communicated with one another since that time. He went on to say that his aunt had invited him to the Thanksgiving dinner that her family was having, but that he did not feel it would be appropriate for him to attend.
Andrew, who stated that he had struggled with his sexuality throughout his childhood and had undergone so-called gay conversion therapy, stated that he fears his aunt’s tearful speech on the House floor could be harmful to the mental health of other LGBTQ Americans. Andrew stated that he had undergone so-called gay conversion therapy.
He referred to the disproportionately high rates of mental health problems that are experienced by LGBTQ young people in particular across the nation: According to a poll that was conducted earlier this year by the LGBTQ youth suicide prevention organization The Trevor Project, almost half of all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer teenagers in the United States have “seriously considered” ending their own lives in the previous year.
Andrew remarked that the kind of story his aunt was telling was the kind that had real-world implications. “If I didn’t contrast her narrative with truth, I’d be doing them a disservice,” you may say.
Andrew is not new to being an advocate for the LGBTQ community; this is not the first time he has done so. In the past year, he became a member of a class-action lawsuit that was filed against the Department of Education to end an exemption in federal civil rights law. This exemption, according to the lawsuit, permits religiously affiliated universities that receive federal funding to “openly discriminate” against LGBTQ students. The exemption is being challenged to end the exemption.
During her speech in opposition to the Respect for Marriage Act, Representative Hartzler argued that the legislation “disrespects the importance of traditional marriage for the health of a family” and that its “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 bill includes an amendment that makes it clear that religious institutions wouldn’t be obligated to perform marriages between people of the same gender, and that the government wouldn’t be forced to safeguard polygamous marriages. Both of these points have been clarified. The lawmaker referred to the amendment as “empty” while she was speaking.
Andrew said, “I find it interesting how my aunt and other members of the religious right only use the term religious freedom’ or religious liberties’ when they’re talking about taking away the rights of other people.” “I find it interesting how my aunt and other members of the religious right only use the term religious freedom’ or ‘ “This is their justification for acting in a discriminatory manner.”
In addition to ensuring that weddings between people of the same gender that were lawfully performed are recognized by the federal government, the measure will also protect marriages between people of different races. It would not require states to issue marriage licenses that violate state law in any way.
The bill was ultimately approved by the House of Representatives with a vote of 258 to 169, with 39 Republicans voting in favor of the bill. It won approval from the Senate the previous week with votes from both Democrats and Republicans, including those of 12 Republicans, and it is anticipated that President Joe Biden would sign it into law.
Please share your thoughts on this article with us in the space provided below. And keep checking back here Journalistpr.com. for all the latest updates.