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Republican Lawmaker Who Claimed to Be Gay Faces Calls to Resign

Republican Lawmaker Who Claimed to Be Gay Faces Calls to Resign

Rep. Fabian Basabe

Florida state Rep. Fabian Basabe represents Miami Beach.

A Florida GOP lawmaker representing one of the highest concentrations of LGBTQ+ constituents in the state has faced repeated calls for his resignation.

Florida Rep. Fabian Basabe, a Miami Beach Republican, endured an April of scandal and accusations, one that arguably reached a climax with LGBTQ+ activists chanting “shame” as he participated in a Pride parade.

That happened last month after Basabe skipped out on a vote on a six-week abortion ban and voted in favor of an expansion of Florida’s so-called “don’t say gay” law. Gov. Ron DeSantis already signed the abortion restriction, and the Florida Senate is expected this week to pass the bill outlawing the use of preferred pronouns in school and restricting curriculum about sexual orientation and gender identity through eighth grade.

Basabe now faces accused of slapping a former legislative aide, a matter being investigated by the Florida House of Representatives, according to CBS News.

Equality Florida staged a protest of Basabe’s presence at the Pride parade.

There, he spoke briefly to the press but was largely drowned out by protesters calling him “the George Santos of Florida,” as seen on video posted byBecause Miami.

“I can’t stand here and be accosted if you are not willing to listen,” he said.

Joe Saunders, previously the first out lawmaker ever sworn into the Florida Legislature, is now challenging Basabe for his seat.

The recent string of scandals around Basabe has infuriated LGBTQ+ activists in Miami. It also helped resurface a recording that dogged Basabe for years. When he ran for the Miami Beach City Commission in 2021, he said at the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus, “I am a Republican, and I am a gay candidate running for office in Miami Beach."

Basabe has been married to a woman since 2005. Last year, he amplified his reputation as a conservative family man as part of his statehouse campaign, theMiami New Times reports.

The offense most likely to land him in trouble in his official capacity is the accusation of violence against Nicolas Frevola. The aide said Basabe slapped him at a Tallahassee reception around DeSantis’s second inauguration in January.

Frevola told CBS the lawmaker "had been drinking and was mistaken about something that led him to slap me in the face in front of other people in the room. He then told me to stand in the corner. I was so embarrassed that I did as he asked."

Basabe said he has no recollection of such a series of events. “I don't remember anything like that,” he told CBS. He also accused Frevola of trying to run over a candidate in a Central Florida election. That has prompted a separate House investigation.

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