ADDED ON: 06/19/2022

Anti-LGBTQ+ attacks by US extremist groups surge as right spews vitriol

6/18/22 | The Guardian

In Idaho, police recently found 31 members of a white supremacist group packed into the back of a U-Haul truck, apparently on their way to an LGBTQ+ pride event in the town of Coeur d’Alene. Further west, a crew of Proud Boys interrupted a drag queen event in California, intimidating parents and children and screaming transphobic and homophobic insults. In Texas, a state plagued by anti-trans politics, a group of rightwingers screamed abuse and threatened attendees at an adults-only drag brunch. The incidents, which led to multiple arrests, took place over just one weekend. It was a concentration of anti-LGBTQ+ hate in America that came as a shock to some – but not to the advocates and groups who have been warning of an alarming rise in anti-trans and gay speech over the past year, especially from the far right. It’s an increase, they warn, that has been spurred by Republican politicians and rightwing media, who have pushed anti-LGBTQ+ talking points and legislation that has seen the rights and safety of an already marginalized group threatened. “While there is always a fringe, extremist element that opposes LGBTQ equality, there has been an enormous increase in misinformation and lies about LGBTQ people entering mainstream discourse,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of Glaad, one of America’s largest LGBTQ+ rights organizations. “When you have networks like Fox News and anti-LGBTQ outlets like Daily Wire, Brietbart, and Daily Caller broadcasting horrific lies about LGBTQ people to millions of people, an increase in threats and violence is the natural result. “When you have lawmakers like Governor Ron DeSantis, Representative Marjorie Taylor-Greene, and Governor Greg Abbott not only spreading misinformation, but targeting LGBTQ families with unbased and harmful legislation and policies, it empowers anti-LGBTQ extremists.”

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