It was a startling statement that had the same resonance as ex-Congressman Todd Akins’ statement about “legitimate rape” 14 months ago and Texas Congressman Michael Burgess’ opposition to abortion because, he claims, fetuses masturbate at 15 weeks. (Akins and Burgess are conservative Republicans.)
This time the statement was made by Florida’s Dennis Baxley, a Republican member of the Florida House who represents the Ocala region and who, until now, counted Florida’s Stand Your Ground law among his signature achievements. He was among its authors in 2005. After the Newtown school massacre, Baxley proposed eliminating Florida’s ban on guns in schools.
Baxley, a 61-year-old funeral director with a psychology degree from Florida State, and a Southern Baptist who lists listening to gospel music among his recreational interests, chairs the House Judiciary Committee and is a member of the Education Committee’s K-12 subcommittee. On Tuesday, the subcommittee met for a discussion on reforms in middle grades. Talk turned to parental involvement. Baxley turned to theorizing.
“It’s easy to say parents need to get involved, but half these kids are raising themselves,” he said, “they don’t have any parents that are functional. How can we address that? I know its scope and I know it’s hard, but you’re probably their only hope. ”
He then lumped together the children of alcoholics, drug addicts and abusers with the children of lesbian parents: “I mean I sat an hour and a half with a teacher telling me, well this child has got serial men coming through the house, this one has two mommy’s, this one has abusive father whose home, this has alcoholism, this one has drug abuse. It was a casualty warfare event to hear – just her classroom – how many dysfunctional, atypical – to me – uh, structures are in the way of a kid having a chance to learn.”
The statement was flagged by Equality Florida, the lesbian, gay and transgender rights organization. Equality Florida has requested a meeting with Baxley.
“We hope Representative Baxley has the decency to apologize for his comments disparaging gay parents and our children,” Nadine Smith, CEO of Equality Florida, said in a statement. “More than that, we invite Representative Baxley to educate himself, talk with us and actually meet our families. We are a diverse state, and no elected official can fulfill their oath of office if they only respect and care about the people and families that look just like their own. The entire child welfare community, every credible agency and all research, are unanimous in recognizing that gay parents are equally capable of raising children and that our kids do just as well as their classmates.”
Baxley considers himself a compassionate father. “As an adoptive father and former foster parent,” Baxley wrote on his Facebook page on Oct. 2, “the children in our community are very important to me. It’s a privilege to serve on the board of the Marion County Children’s Alliance and discuss what we can do to protect and serve children.”
But his extremism has been part of his portfolio. “You think you’d have to be a contortionist to get to the right of Rick Scott, but I think Dennis Baxley has done that,” Damien Filer, political director of Progress Florida, a Tallahassee-based progressive group, told the Ocala Star Banner in describing Baxley’s philosophy.
What do you expect from a funeral director who so closely resembles Dick Cheney, he might as well be channeling him? He must be a Tea Party darling!
As a registered Republican, I have to cringe when I see items such as this in the news.
Our world is NOT the same as it was *back in the day*. I absolutely refused to bend back in the time where one had to sacrifice one’s LIFE to be accepted by one’s peers! BS!!
We Republicans need to understand that our world is NOW! Not the way it was back oh so many eons ago!
I love reading about old shipwrecks. And while doing this I have read of so many instances where the Captains (while legally pretending to be GOD) would commit horrendous acts of brutality upon their crew and/or captives. This was totally wrong then and is STILL wrong!
The Republican party has to at some time realize that we are not living in a world situation of 200 years ago!
Like it or not! Doesn’t matter! Get over it.
In my childhood (teens) I had a close friend who died because he answered the call of the American version of the *jack-booted-thugs*. For WHAT?
Our world has changed! Everyone needs to understand that! Especially the Republican Party.
No one could be any more pro American than I am. But the citizens of my country need to realize that they have been manipulated at least since WW2.
We are a GREAT NATION! Can’t we agree to let people live as they want to? Is that not what our ancestors lost their Goddam LIVES for?
I’m not 100% sure what you’re saying, but I THINK I agree with it.
I’ve heard a lot of Republicans say that they sometimes feel like the party is really alienating to them. Then of course they get stereotyped by Democrats as hateful, intolerant, & backwards.
Yes Florida, this is the type of leadership you have been voting for and placing in responsible positions in the Legislature and Governor’s Mansion since 1998. And you wonder why we are a laughing stock???
Ben Dover says
Can these republicans make themselves look any crazier , lets not forget stupid , we`ve known for years they have been driving up our healthcare costs by taking bribes and kickbacks from insurance and drug companies, Obama unknowingly just turned the rock over and shown the light on the under belly of these slimy thieving slugs, Obamacare takes most of their bribes away , like the biggie no pre existing conditions, insurance companies have been giving these slugs millions over that loophole alone, I think he should sic a forensic accountant on all the walkouts find the ones living above their pay grades and throw them in prison to be repeatedly raped like they`ve been doing to us for years, funny how a script in Canada or Europe is only six bucks there , but 300 hundred here , these people have not only been driving up our costs and getting filthy rich doing it , they`ve cost millions of people their lives , people who couldn t afford life saving meds, or people who`s insurance companies drop them for some other loophole trhey paid for its disgusting , I read about a woman with a good job , good insurance , or so she thought,until she was diagnosed with cervical cancer , they went back ten yrs , found she missed an annual pap smear test due to a death in her family , they dropped her coverage , another loophole our filthy congressmen get paid to let them get away with that , the woman died it spread to her other organs and lymphnode`s while she was fighting the insurance company in the courts, the President should find and prosecute them while they are exposing themselves now , the gall and greed to ignore a law ,refuse to come to work because it takes away their bribe money , we need to cut this cancer out of the system now , while they have crawled out from under their rock.
Another ignoramus red neck.
John Boy says
All these idiots needs to be removed from office, what’s next? Will he will be proposing is to make it legal to have sex with the human bodies that awaiting embalming. Nut cases have no business setting policy or making decisions that impact the lives of real human beings. No kool aid for this fool, embalming fluid has boiled his brains.
Would you be surprised if he (Dennis Baxley) was a closeted homosexual man himself?
Those are the ones that condemn gays the most. The repressed “undercover gays”…..
A funeral director huh? So many unpleasant possibilities.
OK, on to other thoughts…………..
So What your point???
Another tea party genius doing his best to spread hate and destroy the country.