The Democratic chairwoman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Wednesdday blamed Republicans across the country for the growing violence against LGBT people.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., chaired a hearing on the “Rise of Anti-LGBTQI+ Extremism and Violence,” and said there that Republicans have “fanned the flames of bigotry.” Maloney, who lost her primary contest earlier this year, said Republican attempts at the state level to ban transgender treatments for minors, and ban gender identity lessons in public elementary schools, have led to instances of violence against LGBT people.
“These actions are the culmination of years of anti-LGBT extremism that began in statehouses across the country and spread to social media platforms before boiling over to the communities we reside,” Maloney said.
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Maloney specifically criticized legislation in Florida that passed this year and was signed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis. That Parental Rights in Education law banned lessons on gender identity in grades kindergarten through third grade, but Democrats have called it the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, and Maloney said the law “erases the existence of LGBTQI people and muzzles our nation’s brightest educators.”
“These hateful pieces of legislation have fueled a dangerous rise in extreme anti-LGBT rhetoric following the passage of Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay or Trans’ law,” Maloney said.
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Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., said Democrats need to work with Republicans on how to counter rising instances of violence against all Americans instead of putting the blame on Republicans.
“This is not an oversight hearing,” Comer said. “This is a ‘blame Republicans so we don’t have to take responsibility for our own defund the police and soft on crime policies.’”
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The hearing was held less than a month after a shooting at a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs left five killed and 25 injured. The shooter, who was nonbinary, was arrested in 2021 after he threatened his mother with a bomb, but no formal charges were pursued.