A Democratic Indiana lawmaker drew gasps during debate in the state legislature about the state's religious freedom bill. Democratic Rep.Vanessa Summers, during debate on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in the state house, referred to a conversation with Republican Rep. Jud McMillin and his 18-month-old son. “I told Jud McMillin I love his son, but he’s scare of me because of my color", said Summers. McMillin is white, as reported by the Indy Star. Later, the Democratic legislator Summers would not back down her statement, saying about the toddler, “He looked at me like I was a monster and turned around and cried.” The Indy Star also reported that Summer said, “And I told him you need to introduce your child to some people that are dark-skinned so he will not be scared.”
For his part, McMillin said his Democratic colleague's statements were “unfortunate.” Said McMillin, in a March 24 report by the Indy Star, "It’s just incredibly unfortunate. You’d like to think that we would have professional discussion on the House floor and certainly be able to avoid having 18-month-olds in the discussion.” Explaining the toddler's behavior, McMillin, “I can tell you that if he reacted the same way he reacts with anybody brand new, he buries his head in his dad’s shoulder."
“Whoever it is, it’s what he does. He’s an 18-month-old kid; he’s in a new environment up here in a place like the Statehouse but doesn’t know anybody. I honestly don’t remember anything out of the ordinary.”
Eventually, Summers apologized for her comments but took her Facebook critics to task. “To all of you on my page going off. I did apologize but the news doesn’t report that. I apologized to Jud McMillian and the other members of the House. I done with it. You need to see me I’ll be at the State House on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Come see me I’m not scared of any of you,” she wrote.
In the past, Summers has resorted to questioning Republicans' motivations. When President Barack Obama wore a widely ridiculed tan suit when he announced his plans for bombing Islamic State targets in 2014, in response Summers posted a photo of Obama and added the caption “Be Honest, Conservatives – It’s Not The Tan Suit That Bothers You … It’s the Tan President.”