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Homophobia in the Legislature: Rick Brattin

IREHR Special Report: Breaching the Mainstream


Homophobia in the Legislature: Rick Brattin

(R-Missouri State Senate, District 31)

No member represents the far-right views towards the LGBTIA community more openly than Missouri State Sen. Rick Brattin. While a member of the Missouri House of Representatives in 2017, Brattin unleashed vicious bigotry during debate about an LGBTQIA civil rights bill on the House floor:

“When you look at the tenets of religion, of the Bible, of the Quran, of other religions, there is a distinction between homosexuality and just being a human being.”[101]

Now in the state Senate, Brattin illustrates how anti-LGBTQIA bigotry has never been about just prejudice. Instead, it is profoundly connected to dehumanization and the denial of fundamental human rights to the LGBTQIA community. Like many in this report, Brattin was also a state legislator who gained office amidst the rise of the Tea Party and quickly stepped into far-right mobilizations around COVID Denial and attacks on “critical race theory.”

Brattin served in the Missouri House of Representatives from 2010 to 2018.[102] In 2018, Brattin joined Americans for Prosperity-Kansas City (37 members) and, in 2020, Americans For Prosperity-Missouri Group (143 members).[103] Americans for Prosperity is one of many ancillary organizations that contributed to the Tea Party movement at its inception.[104]

From April to June 2020, as the first wave of COVID Denial activism emerged, Brattin joined End the Stay-Governor Parson (5,661 members) and Reopen Missouri (18,780 members).[105] That same year, Brattin joined Take Back Missouri Schools/Education (3,020 members), a COVID Denial group that morphed into a School-Centered far-right campaign by taking up the attack against racial equity under the guise of anti-“critical race theory” politics.[106]

In 2021, Brattin joined Stop CRT & National Civics Standards in K-12 Schools (1,700 members), No Left Turn in Education (11,886 members), and No Left Turn in Education-Missouri (1,140 members).[107]

As a state senator, Brattin sponsored or co-sponsored legislation barring both public and private entities that received “public funds or any other public accommodation” from requiring vaccines for entry; barring school districts from teaching “critical race theory or any successor theory of concept;” a fetal heartbeat bill “enforced through private civil action;” barring municipalities from enacting sanctuary policies; and a nullification law allowing the General Assembly to refrain from enforcing any federal laws it deems unconstitutional [108]

Brattin also took time to bash and caricature food stamp recipients who face low-paying jobs and unemployment, declaring, “The goal of food stamps should be to help those who cannot work, like those disabled and our seniors. The program was not created to provide a living for those who can work but won’t.”[109] Finally, from his seat on the Senate General Laws Committee, Brattin voted to pass the Second Amendment Preservation Act (SAPA), which read, “Our 2nd Amendment SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED UPON. NOT NOW. NOT EVER.”[110]

In the John Birch Society-style of finding communism behind everything he dislikes, Brattin wrote in March,

“Socialism, identity politics, antifa, anti-whiteness, vilification of the nuclear family, gender confusion… these are all symptoms of American Communism, a deliberate effort to destroy America from within as recorded in the halls of Congress. It’s time to take America back!”[111]


Two: The Legislators


Four: The Far-Right Groups


[101] Puckett, Lily. Missouri Politician Says There’s a Distinction Between Gay People and Human Beings. Teen Vogue. May 12, 2017.

[102] Missouri Senate. Senator Rick Brattin. Accessed April 4, 2022.

[103] Americans for Prosperity-Kansas City. Facebook. Members.

[104] Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights. Tea Party Nationalism. A Critical Examination of the Tea Party Movement and the Size, Scope, and Focus of Its National Factions. Fall 2010.

[105] End the Stay-Governor Parson. Facebook. Members.; Reopen Missouri. Facebook. Members. Accessed April 4, 2022.

[106] Hill, Mary. Facebook. Posted in Take Back Missouri Schools/Education. August 18, 2021.; Dorman, Sam. Missouri school district employees sue over allegedly unconstitutional ‘equity’ training. Fox News. August 18, 2021.; Take Back Missouri Schools/Education. Facebook. Members. Accessed April 4, 2022; Take Back Missouri Schools/Education. Facebook. About. Accessed March 17, 2022.

[107] Stop CRT & National Civics Standards in K-12 Schools. Facebook. Members.; No Left Turn in Education. Facebook. About.; No Left Turn in Education-Missouri. Facebook. About.

[108] Missouri Senate. Bills Sponsored by Senator Brattin.; Missouri Senate. SB 693.; Missouri Senate. SB 694.; Missouri Senate. SB 778.; Missouri Senate. SB 840.; Missouri Senate. SB 1227. Accessed April 4, 2022.

[109] Brattin, Rick. Facebook. August 16, 2021.

[110] Brattin, Rick. Facebook. April 10, 2021.

[111] Brattin, Rick. Facebook. March 2, 2022.

Breaching the Mainstream

A National Survey of Far-Right Membership in State Legislatures

Copyright © 2022. Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights.