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“Burn it to the ground.”

Opposition is hard, but it’s not always impossible.

See Nebraska State Senator Machaela Cavanaugh, who stands opposed to anti-transgender legislation, including a bill that would outlaw gender-affirming therapies for those 18 and younger, as well as requiring people to use the restroom corresponding to the sex they were assigned at birth.

The kind of close-minded, hateful stuff designed to make the lives of transgender people more difficult and painful.

During a hearing on a liquor taxation bill, Cavanaugh took to the Senate floor, expressed support for the bill, then spend the next three days filibustering by discussing everything but the bill, including her favorite Girl Scout cookies, Omaha’s best doughnuts, and the plot of the animated movie “Madagascar.”

“If this Legislature collectively decides that legislating hate against children is our priority,” Cavanaugh said, “then I am going to make it painful — painful for everyone. I will burn the session to the ground over this bill.”

Knowing that laws limiting the rights of transgender children and adults were advancing through committees, Cavanaugh promised three weeks ago to filibuster every bill that comes before the legislature this year — even the ones she supports.

The result of these tactics has been to bring the legislative session to a crawl. This week marks the halfway point in the session, and not a single bill has passed the Nebraska State Senate thanks to Cavanaugh’s relentless filibustering.

On Friday, Cavanaugh agreed to stop her filibuster after Republican lawmakers agreed to bring the transgender bill to the Senate floor ahead of all other legislation.

Cavanaugh believes she has enough votes to kill the legislation once it’s put to a vote. If not, she has promised to resume her filibuster.

All of this is probably bad for Cavanaugh in the long run. She has likely alienated herself from her colleagues, and in a state as historically conservative as Nebraska, she’s probably not making voters very happy, but she’s decided to be the person who will stand in the breach and hold back this bigotry for as long as possible.

And maybe I’m wrong. She’s been a member of the Senate since 2018. and her recent victory over her Republican challenger was by more than 10 points, so perhaps she has the full support of her constituents. She’s also the first senator to breastfeed on the Capitol floor after proposing legislation that would have required a dedicated nursing station to be created for senators, staff, and visitors.

All 14 of the female senators signed onto the bill, of course, but (and this may surprise you) her male colleagues failed to take action on the bill.

The irony of this whole damn thing is that the Republican Party is founded on the core beliefs of individual freedom, personal autonomy, and limited government.

People can choose to live their lives as they see fit.

Parents are responsible for the care and upbringing of their children.

No government official should be allowed to stand between you and your doctor.

But all of these core beliefs disappear whenever breasts or genitalia are involved, which is so weird. Penises, vaginas, and boobies somehow force Republican lawmakers to abandon all their principles and demand legislative control over them.

It’s downright creepy.

I wrote a letter to Senator Cavanaugh today, expressing appreciation for her defense of personal freedom and her stand against bigotry and stupidity. I’m quite certain that she’s received a great deal of hate mail these days and probably some death threats as well.

The anti-LGBTQ community loves to follow the teachings of Jesus and send death threats whenever possible.

So I thought I’d offer a note of positivity and support to counteract some of the cowards and trolls sending mail.

If you would like to do the same, here is Senator Cavanaugh’s contact information:

Senator Machaela Cavanaugh
Room 11th Floor
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
(402) 471-2714