On Tuesday, the Missouri state senate was debating an anti-transgender bill conservatives were pushing that would deny gender-affirming care for minors. Pretty standard conservative stuff: anti-trans, anti-civil rights, “small government” overreach into people’s lives.
One of the state legislators, Missouri Republican state Senator Mike Moon of Ash Grove, has been leading the charge against LGBTQ+ rights. For the children and all of that. But on Tuesday, state Sen. Moon’s relatively recent voting record came back to bite him when Democratic state Rep. Peter Merideth of St. Louis decided to ask Moon about his vote on a 2018 bill:
“I’ve heard you talk about parents’ rights to raise their kids how they want. In fact, I just double-checked, you voted no on making it illegal for kids to be married to adults at the age of 12, if their parents consented to it. You said, actually, that should be the law because it’s the parents’ right and the kid’s right to decide what’s best for them—to be raped by an adult.”
It’s all on video, and it got even better when Moon tried to dig his child-bride-loving ass out of the hole of hypocrisy he created.
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Sen. Moon’s defense to this line of questioning was, “Do you know any kids who have been married at age 12?” Rep. Meredith correctly pointed out that that was very much what the law that Mr. Moon was voting against was trying to stop. Moon, of course, wielding Biblical levels of hypocrisy, doubled down, repeated the question, and answered it himself: “I do. And guess what, they’re still married.”
Not the defense you might expect … since it is not a defense at all. The clip of the Missouri Republican’s support of child brides went viral. Moon has since then given quite a few versions of excuses, while also saying the opposite of what he said—and more importantly what he voted against in 2018:
Moon said he wasn’t given enough time to explain his vote. He said that with the video clip of the hearing, people have been able to “fill in the gaps with whatever they want.”
“For Peter Merideth or anyone to attempt to frame me as a pedophile or someone who would condone rape, they’re out of their minds,” Moon said.
That’s so true. I’m so sick of partisan hacks and homophobes calling everyone a pedophile that wants to teach kids that there are all kinds of people in the rainbow of humanity. So sick of legislatures using buzzwords like “woke” and “grooming” to describe people’s civil rights. As for the couple that Moon said he knew? The single example that led to him voting against raising the age of marriage consent in his state?
“The young man was 12; the girl was 11,” he said. “Their parents allowed them to marry. There was no forcing in the situation. But the parents wisely took the boy to their home, and the girls’ parents took her to their home.
“Eventually a child was born to the girl, and then years later, when they were able to support themselves and they were more mature, they were able to begin living together, and still living together today,” Moon said, adding the 2018 legislation would’ve made that type of marriage illegal.
You get that? Sen. Moon also released a video where he simply lied about what he said and what he voted against by saying he is against the stuff that he clearly supports:
“I do not support adults marrying minors. In fact, if there is an incident where an adult has recently married a minor in this state of Missouri, I will make it a priority to remove and prohibit adults from marrying minors.”
It’s weird, right? He literally voted against a law that was changed in spite of him to make the age of consent 16 years old, which I’m betting he thinks is pretty close to being a senior citizen at this point. And his argument for voting against it was that somehow people would look back at people married three or more decades earlier and nullify their marriages—but he will demand that those marriages become illegal if they happened recently because of a law he voted against.
Got it? Got it.
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It's never too early to start talking about the House! Joining us on this week's edition of The Downballot is Inside Elections' Jacob Rubashkin, who offers his thoughts on the overall playing field and a wide range of key contests. Jacob explains why Lauren Boebert might have an easier time of it in her likely rematch, how some candidates have a "special sauce" that allows them to keep winning difficult districts, and why he thinks Mary Peltola is favored for re-election despite Alaska's persistent red lean.