Texas state Rep. Senfronia Thompson — someone I have for whom immense admiration and respect for many reasons, not the least of which is her passionate support of LGBT rights — took a moment of personal privilege today on the House floor to let loose on the Texas Civil Justice League, which distributed fliers targeting Thompson HB 2093 which deals with insurance and contractors. Thompson wasn’t angry that the TCJL opposes her legislation. What made her mad was the photo on the flier: a close up of an breastfeeding infant over which were written the words “Don’t expand the nanny state.”
“Some of you may find them funny, but I find them despicable. I find them distasteful. I find them hateful, and I find them to foster violence and disrespect toward women. And I find it hard to believe the Texas Civil Justice League would go so low that they would put out this kind of hate resentful bitter, despicable, despisable, violent fliers toward women just to get at a piece of legislation. They could have come and talked to me,” Thompson said. “We cannot sit here and tolerate this kind of attitude.”
But it wasn’t just the Texas Civil Justice League that bore the brunt of Thompson’s anger. She also criticized the male members of the House for allowing and even perpetuating an atmosphere of such disrespect toward women to exist in the first place that the flier was even produced in the first place.
“Men, if you don’t stand up for us today, you don’t walk in this chamber tomorrow!” Thompson demanded.
And she wasn’t the only woman who was angry.
Houston Democrat Rep. Carol Alvarado led what she said was a bipartisan group of female legislators to the chamber’s back mic where she spoke up to call the flyer is a “below-the-belt political tactic.” And Rep. Debbie Riddle, a Republican from Tomball spoke up in support of “Mrs. T,” adding that she has been appalled to see pornography on the House floor. Riddle didn’t elaborate on her statement.
Even if I were to transcribe Rep. Thompson’s speech for you here, word for word, I couldn’t do it justice. So instead, I’ll just post the video and let you hear it for yourself.