Senior member of the Illinois delegation in the United States House of Representatives Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) shut down bigoted policies and ideas by the Republican Party in one awe-inspiring speech on the House floor this week.
Guttierez’s speech was impassioned and wide-reaching as he addressed the Republicans’ attacks on women’s reproductive health services, bigoted immigration policies, marginalization of LGBTQ folks and progress in general.
“The latest throw-down from the Right has been over Planned Parenthood and reimbursing this organization for health services it provides to women across the country. In many cases, Planned Parenthood is the only source of affordable, accessible reproductive health care: contraception, HIV/STD testing, and basic health care for women. Under federal law, our tax dollars cannot pay for abortions, and there are no credible claims that this is being violated, and under law, abortion is legal in the United States despite all the restrictions imposed and proposed by my Republican colleagues…
“That desire to turn the clock backwards, to undo the progress of our lifetimes, to punish America for evolving over time is basically at the heart of the Republican agenda, as driven by their most active and vocal base. Republicans run for office and legislate as if they want gay people back in the closet, as if they want Latinos and Asians to become invisible, as if they wish women would just be back in the kitchen or in the bedroom, as if we could go back to the golden days before the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, Brown v The Board of Education, when everything was separate and some people were more equal than others.
“Well, with all due respect to Mr. Carson and Emperor Trump, every poll indicates that the American people are not with them, and that is especially true of young people in America…
“I will agree with one leading candidate, Jeb Bush, who recently said that, ‘Stuff happens.’ Stuff does happen. A lot of stuff has happened since the 1950s when I was born, and the 60s when I grew up in America. Our laws and culture have evolved to become more inclusive and we have a more diverse and egalitarian society because of it. Many Republicans call that stuff ‘the problem.’ I call that stuff progress.”
See the entire speech below: