Two Democrats Punished with Speaking Ban

Jun 14, 2012

Two state lawmakers---one from the Lansing area---have been banned for one day from speaking during House debates.

House Republican leaders sanctioned the women – both Democrats – for their behavior during a debate on anti-abortion legislation.

This is the first time in memory that lawmakers have been officially barred from speaking on the House floor. This is the comment that got state Representative Lisa Brown in hot water with House Republican leader

“I’m flattered that you’re all so interested in my vagina, but no means no,” she said.

Brown was speaking during a debate on anti-abortion bills, and has no apologies for what she said.

"I used an anatomically correct word," she explains. "I said ‘vagina.’ Can I not say ‘elbow?' I don’t see what the difference is."

State Representative Barb Byrum was also slapped with a one-day speaking ban. She shouted at the presiding officer of the House for failing to recognize her when she wanted to speak during the abortion debate. A House GOP spokesman said the behavior in both cases was a breach of decorum.