Right-wing influencers and media double down on anti-LGBTQ rhetoric in the wake of the Colorado shooting
Some right-wing media figures and influencers have doubled down on the use of inflammatory rhetoric against the LGBTQ community in the wake of Saturday night’s
Some right-wing media figures and influencers have doubled down on the use of inflammatory rhetoric against the LGBTQ community in the wake of Saturday night’s shooting at a Colorado gay club that killed five.
The rhetoric mirrors what LGBTQ advocates have warned about for months, most notably false claims that children are being sexualized or “groomed” by LGBTQ people and events. The Colorado shooter’s motive is unknown, but the primary suspect Anderson Lee Aldrich is facing five counts of first-degree murder and five counts of bias-motivated crime-causing bodily injury, more commonly known as hate crimes. Aldrich's first court appearance is scheduled for Wednesday.
On Monday evening, Fox News host Tucker Carlson condemned the shooting, focusing on the suspect’s reported history of making a bomb threat in 2021. Three minutes into his nearly 15-minute monologue, however, Carlson’s show displayed a graphic reading “STOP SEXUALIZING KIDS.” On Tuesday evening, Carlson hosted a guest who said shootings would continue to happen "until we end this evil agenda that is attacking children."
Alejandra Caraballo, a clinical instructor at Harvard Law School’s Cyberlaw Clinic, said that the repetitive messaging from Carlson and others has opened the door for violence against LGBTQ people.
“The way they soften up the support for this kind of violence is essentially by making it seem morally justified in the minds of people who believe this,” Caraballo said. “The way they do this is by constantly painting LGBT people as pedophiles and groomers, and so people feel morally justified in carrying out this violence.”