Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX) used a years-old, completely made-up meme while debating the Equality Act Thursday.
Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX) used a debunked meme about a man going into a woman's restroom to justify his vote against the Equality Act, a landmark civil rights bill that would prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression.
Weber told the tall tale during debate about the bill, breaking the fake story up into two parts.
He began his speech saying:
This bill smacks of President Barack Obama's transgender bathroom policy several years back. I remember that, how ridiculous that was. It was reported in Texas a young girl went into a bathroom in a package store, was followed by a male who said he self-identified as a female that day. More about her in a minute...
And to wrap up his remarks he said:
The lady, the girl who was followed into the bathroom ... by the gentleman who said he self-identified as a female that day? Turns out that that man's teeth were knocked out by the girl's father, who self-identified as the tooth fairy.
That story is not real.
According to a fact check from Reuters, the tale began to go viral in 2015.
It has been told in numerous different iterations, with some memes saying it happened in North Carolina, others in Texas, and even in the United Kingdom.
It features a photo of a man standing with a girl whose shirt reads, "Stay Clear Boys, this is my dad!"
Reuters tracked down that man in the photo, who they identified as U.K. resident Gavin Gavlaarr Johnston.
Johnson said the story is fake and that it never happened.
"To be honest I just scroll past now as there are so many different variants and photos. Oh well, my own fault for going viral in the first place I guess lol," he told Reuters.
Weber, however, told the story on the House floor as if it was real to justify his opposition to the Equality Act.
His comments were one of dozens from Republican lawmakers who made transphobic remarks as they outlined why they do not support the bill.
The Equality Act passed Thursday afternoon by a vote of 224 to 206 — with every Democrat and just three Republicans voting in favor.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation