Gay nephew of congresswoman who cried while pleading for vote against gay ... trends now
The nephew of a Missouri congresswoman who sobbed while pleading with her colleagues to vote against gay marriage has condemned his aunt for bigotry, saying: 'I don't want my last name to be associated with hate.'
The 62-year-old was in tears, her voice quavering, as she told the House: 'I hope and pray that my colleagues will find the courage to join me in opposing this misguided, and this dangerous bill.'
On Friday, Hartzler's nephew Andrew Hartzler said she was misguided, and would have to learn tolerance and acceptance.
He came out to her in February, despite her long history of rejecting LGBTQ rights, and her decision in 2019 to sponsor an event arranged by proponents of conversion therapy.
Andrew Hartzler, 23, filmed a TikTok on Friday which went viral with 154,000 views as of Friday evening, noting: 'So, despite my coming out to my aunt this past February, I guess she's still as much of a homophobe.'
GOP Rep. Vicky Hartzler broke down and cried on the House floor Thursday in opposition to the gay marriage bill the House passed
Andrew Hartzler published a TikTok criticizing his aunt on Friday which has gone viral, with 154,000 views
He told BuzzFeed News he wasn't surprised by her performance on Thursday.
'At first I just thought that it was an old video because that kind of rhetoric is quite common from my aunt,' he said.
'But I realized that it was from today and what she was talking about, and, yeah, I wasn't really surprised.'
He said he thought it was 'weird' that she was crying, but was sure her emotion was real.
'I don't think that was a performance. Knowing my aunt, I think those were genuine tears.'
He said he is not close to his aunt, who invited him to Thanksgiving at her house, but whose invitation he declined, not feeling welcome.
He also has a difficult relationship with his deeply conservative parents, but felt that he needed to respond to his aunt's rhetoric.
'I do feel compelled to speak out when I see this just to counter these messages,' he said.
'I don't want my last name to be associated with hate. I want it to be associated with love.'
Andrew Hartzler said he did not want his last name to be 'associated with hate'
Andrew has been in the spotlight before, after he sued the evangelical Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma - a university he did not choose, but the only one his father said he would pay tuition fees.
Like all students, Hartzler had signed a pledge on arrival stating: 'I will not engage in or attempt to engage in any illicit, unscriptural sexual acts, which include any homosexual activity and sexual intercourse with one who is not my spouse. I will not be united in marriage other than the marriage between one man and one woman.'
The president of the university, William Wilson, preached during one of the mandatory twice-weekly sermons that 'if a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable, they are put to death.'
Wilson asked the assembled students to close their eyes, bow their heads and raise their hand if they if they needed 'healing in this area of sexuality.'
He is now part of a federal class action lawsuit in which plaintiffs are suing the Department of Education to stop religious schools from receiving federal funds if they discriminate against LGBTQ students. Under current law, such schools receive religious exemptions from complying with