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Republican Lawmaker Asks Lesbian Colleague if She’s a Pedophile

Republican Lawmaker Asks Lesbian Colleague if She’s a Pedophile

Republican Lawmaker Asks Lesbian Colleague if She’s a Pedophile

Video captured the entire exchange, which the lawmaker now claims was a misunderstanding.

A lawmaker in Rhode Island asked a lesbian legislator if she was a pedophile during a heated discussion over an equity and inclusion bill on Friday.

As reported by the Providence Journal, the State House was debating HB 5763 known as the Equity Impact Statement Act when Rep. Robert Quattrocchi asked Rep. Rebecca Kislak if she was a pedophile while questioning the cost and need for the legislation.

The exchange was caught on video and showed the chamber erupting in shock and anger moments later.

HB 5763 would require all legislation submitted to the general assembly to include an equity impact statement listing potential impact based on “race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex sexual orientation, gender expression, disability, age or country of ancestral origin.” The bill would further require listing historic disparities of these groups and existing efforts to correct them, as well as ensuring that the proposed legislation would not negatively impact these communities.

“It just seems like a lot,” Quattrocchi asked Kislak during the hearing. “You don’t feel that all the anti-discrimination laws that we have already, which are many, protecting all these classes that you’re, that are listed in this bill?”

He described the bill as “very, very broad” in its reporting requirements and questioned how it would be implemented.

“Do I have to take into account, for instance, religion?” Quattrocchi continued. “Do I have to take into account how it affects Satan and Satanists in Rhode Island? Or do I have to take into account with sexual orientation — how it affects pedophiles in Rhode Island? Anything like that?

“Well, first I want to appoint out that pedophile is not a sexual orientation,” Kislak answered coolly.

“Oh, I'm sorry,” Quattrocchi reponded.

“So like my equity right now is pointing out that that was really offensive,” Kislak continued.

“Oh I didn't mean to,” Quattrocchi trailed off before asking, “Are you a pedophile?”

The chamber descended into chaos before Rep. Evan Shanley restored order. Quattrocchi immediately apologized and later called the incident a misunderstanding but also said he could provide no further comment.

“Because I have not been advised by the Speaker’s Office as to his intentions regarding this matter, I cannot offer further comment at this time,'” Quattrocchi said in a statement on Tuesday.

Out gay House Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi described the question as “insulting” and “reprehensible” and said Quattrocchi’s statement was “a step in the right direction” but didn’t go far enough.

A coalition of LGBTQ+ advocacy and support groups signed a public letter on Tuesday condemning Quattrocchi’s question.

“Rhode Island has been a leader in recognizing and protecting equality for the LGBTQ+ community. The people of this state are proud of that legacy.” the letter stated. “Our representatives should be working to ensure safety, dignity, and equity for all residents, not perpetuating dangerous, false comparisons that undermine the humanity of LGBTQ+ people.”

In his statement on Tuesday, Quattrocchi said he had apologized to Kislak on at least four separate occasions, though Kislak disputed that claim.

“It is not an apology,” Kislak told The Journal.

You can watch the entire exchange below.

"Are you a pedophile?" asks RI Rep Robert Quattrocchi (Republican, District 41, Scituate)

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