A Louisiana State University graduate student lecturer was relieved of his teaching duties after leaving a threatening profanity-laced voicemail for a Republican state senator, the university confirmed Thursday.
Marcus Venable, who will remain at LSU as a graduate student in the Sociology department, is alleged to have left the angry message on the cellphone of State Senator Mike Fesi after he voted yes on House Bill 648, the “Stop Harming Our Kids Act.”
House Bill 648 bans hormone treatments, puberty-blocking drugs, sex-change surgeries and other related procedures for anyone under the age of 18.
On Tuesday, 07/18/2023, the Louisiana Senate voted to override Governor John Bel Edwards' veto of SB 648 (Prohibits certain procedures to alter the sex of a minor child by Representative Gabe Firment)https://t.co/llg314iadu pic.twitter.com/KIUcPCueT8
— Senator "Big Mike" Fesi (@Sen_BigMikeFesi) July 19, 2023
In a floor speech during the Louisiana’s Legislature’s veto override session on Tuesday, Fesi shared anecdotes of people who had undergone irreversible procedures and regretted doing so.
“I just wanted to say ‘congratulations,’ to our State Senator, ‘Big Mike’ Fesi. And that f—king moron voted to make things worse for people who are already suffering. You fat f—king piece of sh-t,” Venable said in the voicemail. “I can’t wait to read your name in the f-ing obituary,” Venable’s message continues.
“I will make a g—damn martini made from the tears of your butthurt conservatives when we put your f—king ass in the ground, you fat f—king useless piece of sh-t. F—k you. I hope you have a terrible day,” the message concluded.
Conservative influencer Greg Price shared the threatening voicemail on Twitter following Fesi’s speech.
UNHINGED: This is a voicemail that was sent to Louisiana State Senator @Sen_BigMikeFesi after he voted to override Gov. John Bel Edwards' veto on the bill to ban child sex changes in which @LSU Professor Marcus Venable calls him a "fat fucking piece of shit" and says "I can't… pic.twitter.com/IEKisCF6mg
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) July 20, 2023
Local law enforcement was able to identify Venable after Fesi reported the message.
Price’s tweet was amplified by the conservative Twitter account Libs of TikTok and subsequently shared by Republicans in the Louisiana Legislature, who called on LSU to dismiss Venable.
GOP “Reps. Blake Miguez of Erath, Beryl Amedee of Houma, Gabe Firment of Pollock and Sen. Stewart Cathey of Monroe all shared tweets condemning the student,” the Louisiana Illuminator reported.
“As a university, we foster open and respectful dialogue. Like everyone, graduate students with teaching assignments have the right to express their opinions, but this profanity-filled, threatening call crossed the line,” LSU spokesperson Abbi Rocha Laymoun said in a statement. “This does not exhibit the character we expect of someone given the privilege of teaching as part of their graduate assistantship. The student will be allowed to continue their studies but will not be extended the opportunity to teach in the future.”