State Rep. Leslie Herod accurately summarized the state and national cancers that caused five people to be murdered and dozens more injured on Sunday because they are — and were — despite who they are.
“We must stop promoting the hateful rhetoric that fuels the dehumanization of our community,” said Leslie Herod, a Denver state representative and candidate for mayor. Herod attended Colorado Springs high school and is the first openly gay black woman elected to the State House. “This hatred combined with laws that make access to firearms far too easy has only one outcome. I wish I could say it was amazing, but that’s not the case. Instead, it’s all too predictable.”
Herod is right.
Americans here and across the country use religion to hide their bigotry and contempt for people who are gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual.
Even worse are those who wrap their bigotry and hatred in patriotism.
Not only is it morally obscene, it’s deadly.
The marginalization, bullying and abuse of LGTBQ people is nothing new in the history of bigotry. Almost everyone who is not Christian, white or Protestant has been subjected to generations of cruel abuse. Many still are.
But while laws and public opinion have sought to root out systemic and legalized bigotry for generations, gay or trans Americans have not.
Large parts of America believe that our institutionalized protection from a state religion is a defense and justification for their bigotry and hatred of LGTBQ citizens.
Political leaders like GOP Congresswoman Lauren Boebert routinely act like self-righteous tyrants, bludgeoning us all with their homophobia and antipathy toward trans-Americans.
In 2021, Boebert hailed the success of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in signing the state’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law, which prohibits discussing LGTBQ issues in public schools.
“If we take back the House of Representatives, Florida’s education system is the model for the nation. We will save our nation from the ‘Awakened’ curse on education,” she said in a tweet, according to a Sentinel story about the recent mass murder at Club Q in Colorado Springs.
She and others use “woke” as a bludgeon against Americans who demand not just tolerance for all races and sexual identities, but acceptance.
Horribly, Boebert has regularly accused LGTBQ people and liberals of “grooming” children to make them gay, and has been particularly critical of popular drag queen reading events at local libraries.
“Bring your kids to the CHURCH not the drag bars,” she tweeted during a flash rant last summer.
Also that summer, after learning about a drag queen reading event in Western Slope, “send a message to all the drag queens out there: stay away from the kids in Colorado’s 3rd Ward!”
Taunts and similar insults by right-wing politicians and television and radio personalities normalize and, for some, legitimize the abuse and even murder of LGTBQ people, making them less than non-LGTBQ people and often even less than human. Bigotry, legitimized by some political and religious leaders and even the courts, coupled with an obsession with guns, created a perfect setting for Sunday’s gruesome killings. It’s an obsession often shared by those struggling with LGTBQ bigotry.
Just as racist bigots found solace in courts to prevent black Americans and other people of color from renting hotel rooms, eating at restaurants, and even buying a home, some state laws and flawed courts allow this anti-gay bigotry as a test thrives religious rights.
State and federal legislatures must support laws that ensure equal rights apply to LGTBQ Americans alike, and that gun control laws—and their enforcement—restrict access to firearms to people who clearly pose a danger to themselves and others.
And we all must challenge the bigotry and malice propagated by Boebert and her ilk.
Colorado’s first transnational lawmaker had this sound advice for Boebert after she tweeted “thoughts and prayers” and her shock at the Club Q shooting on Sunday.
“Thanks for the ‘thoughts and prayers’ but that doesn’t make up for the damage you directly did in inciting these kinds of attacks on the LGBTQ+ community,” State Rep. Brianna Titone tweeted in response. “They spread tropes and insults and contributed to the hatred towards us. There’s blood on your hands.”
Boebert and several like her were recently re-elected to their state and federal offices. It will be imperative for voters and the media to hold them accountable for their dangerous allegations and actions.
Editorial team of Sentinel Colorado
Read the original article here.