Anti-LGBTQ rhetoric promoted by the right was condemned Sunday after a deadly shooting in Colorado Springs, Colorado, at an LGBTQ club.
Colorado Springs police said Sunday that 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldridge allegedly started shooting just before midnight at Club Q, killing five people and wounding 18 others. The shooting rocked many in the LGBTQ community on Sunday, who have raised concerns about a resurgence in anti-gay and anti-trans rhetoric from some right-wingers.
Although police have not confirmed the shooter’s motive and continue to investigate whether or not it was a hate crime, many have linked the shooting to anti-LGBTQ rhetoric.
Experts have noted a resurgence of “groomer” allegations against many in the LGBTQ community. While the rhetoric unprovokedly associating the community with pedophilia is not new, it has seen a resurgence this year amid a wave of anti-LGBTQ activism and politics being pushed in conservative-run states.
Recent allegations have been leveled against the LGBTQ community by groomers at pride events, gay bars and drag queen stories, who have faced at times violent protests from right-wingers who have accused the community of targeting children. These allegations are generally considered baseless and offensive.
Rep. Nydia Velazquez, a New York Democrat, said Republican politicians who have promoted anti-LGBTQ rhetoric are partly responsible for the attack.
“Any GOP politician spewing anti-LGBTQ rhetoric bears responsibility for the Colorado Springs shooting,” she tweeted. “Any GOP politician who says guns aren’t the problem bears responsibility for the Colorado Springs shooting. Enough.”
Brianna Wu, a former congressional candidate and executive director of Rebellion PAC, tweeted, “This surge in hate crime clearly affects Libs of TikTok, Matt Walsh, and the anti-trans mainstream media that has slandered LGBT people as sexual deviants.”
“The Colorado Springs shooting is another reminder that thoughts and prayers are not helping. Denigrating the LGBTQ community doesn’t help either, because it makes them a target. Why is it so hard to just leave and leave people alone? you live? What a tragedy,” tweeted singer-songwriter Malynda Hale.
President Joe Biden condemned the violence against the LGBTQ community in a statement released after the shooting, noting that transgender women of color are particularly vulnerable to gun violence.
“Places that should be safe places of acceptance and celebration should never become places of terror and violence. And yet it happens far too often. We must root out the injustices that contribute to violence against LGBTQI+ people. We cannot and must not tolerate hate,” Biden wrote.
Writer Elad Nehorai tweeted: “This is where it should always be since the moral panic fomented by Republicans and the myriad of hate-mongering right-wing influencers here who are mercilessly targeting queer people. Queer activists have warned us. Absolutely devastating.”
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, who became the first openly gay man to be elected governor in a U.S. state in 2019, wrote in a statement that Colorado “stands in our sorrow for our LGBTQ community and all those affected by this tragedy are”.
“This is appalling, disgusting and devastating,” he wrote. “My heart breaks for the family and friends of those who were lost, injured and traumatized in this horrific shooting.”
Police arrested Aldridge and the shooting is still being investigated. Officers recovered two firearms at the scene.
“Club Q is a safe haven for our LGBT citizens. Every citizen has the right to feel safe and secure in our beautiful city. The suspect entered Club Q and then immediately began shooting at people inside as he proceeded further into the club,” Colorado Springs Police Department Chief Adrian Vasquez said during a news conference Sunday.
news week has contacted local police and Club Q for further comment.
https://www.newsweek.com/right-wing-anti-lgbt-rhetoric-slammed-after-colorado-springs-club-shooting-1760932 Right-wing anti-LGBT rhetoric slammed after Colorado Springs club shooting