When Michigan Democratic state Sen. Mallory McMorrow stood on the chamber floor to take on a Republican colleague who had accused her of wanting to sexually groom children, she was denouncing not just an isolated incident, but an onslaught of GOP attacks on the LGBTQ community. “I know that hate will only win if people like me stand by and let it happen,” McMorrow said in a Senate floor speech Tuesday that swiftly went viral, gaining nearly 12 million views within a day. The rapid escalation in public support for the LGBTQ community’s rights in recent years had quieted much of the blatant homophobia in the nation’s political discourse. But, in recent weeks, Republicans have reverted to verbal and legal assaults on the community, sometimes employing baseless tropes that suggest children are being groomed or recruited by defenders of gay rights. The efforts ahead of the midterm elections are intended to rile up the Republican base and fill the campaign coffers of its candidates, without offering evidence that any Democrat had committed a repugnant crime.
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