The rise of anti-LGBTQ extremism in America

It's true in physics that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. It's largely true in psychology and sociology too. As someone trained in psychology who taught sociology for a number of years, I am well aware of that. And what we read below is an example of it.

The excessive valorization of homosexuality by the Left is only too evident. You can even lose your job by saying skeptical things about homoxsexuals. It has forced even some of the more more fundamentist religions -- such as the Salvation Army -- to abandon loyalty to the Bible -- which calls homoxsexuality "an abomination unto the Lord"

And that runs against justice for a start. Where is the equality or "equity" that Leftists are always preaching? Why must homosexuals get privileged treatment? Additionally, it runs against the instinctive distaste that many men have for the very idea of homosexuality.

And so we should not be surprised that Leftist extremism and imbalance sometimes produces an "equal and opposite reaction". There are of course reasons for unequal treatment of homosexuality but we must expect that to come at a price

First came the carnage, then came the vitriol. As a shattered community in Colorado Springs grieved the victims of last month’s mass shooting at gay hotspot Club Q, it didn’t take long for the condolences to be offset by hundreds of hateful, homophobic messages.

“The shooter was doing God’s work: five less faggots,” said one.

“I hope more shootings happen. Have a blessed day!” said another.

Club Q founder Matthew Haynes was saddened but hardly surprised as he saw the comments flash up on his screen. After all, LGBTQ people represent about 7 per cent of the US population, but make up 20 per cent of the nation’s hate crimes, according to the latest FBI data.

As a congressional hearing in Washington was told this month, the horrific attack that killed five people in Colorado Springs was merely emblematic of a growing trend of anti-LGBTQ extremism, fuelled in part by a rise in hostile public rhetoric - on social media, among some right-wing commentators or by politicians attempting to rile up their base.

Coupled with access to military-style assault weapons, Haynes said, “we were lucky that night that the casualties were not much higher.”

Demonstrators gather on the step of the Montana State Capitol in 2021 after the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to advance two bills targeting transgender youth despite overwhelming testimony opposing the measures.

According to tracking data by LGBTQ lobby group GLAAD, more than 300 anti-LGBTQ bills have been considered by state legislatures this year - from blocking trans participation in sports, to barring access to gender-affirming care, to removing books about sexual orientation and gender identity.

Among the most high profile has been Florida’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” laws, enshrined by Donald Trump’s Republican rival Ron Desantis, which bans classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through to the third grade.

Twenty children’s hospitals that provide trans medical care to minors have also received bomb threats - prompting calls by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association for the Justice Department to intervene – and nearly 150 attacks on LGBTQ events have been reported publicly.

In Oklahoma last month, for instance, a doughnut shop was firebombed with a Molotov cocktail after hosting a drag event - its second attack in less than two months.

In Texas, an inclusive church’s drag bingo night was mobbed by hundreds of far-right extremists in September after Trump ally Steve Bannon amplified a call for the event to be protested.

And in Massachusetts, a man was charged two weeks ago for making a death threat against a physician who cares for gender-nonconforming children.

Both sides of politics accept that violence is a growing concern. About 7300 hate crimes were reported to the FBI in 2021, including nearly 1400 offences targeting LGBTQ people. However, due to under-reporting, varying definitions of hate crimes in different states and the patchy nature of the FBI’s hate crime data in general, these figures are widely accepted to be far worse.

But what both sides can’t agree on is what should be done about it. Republicans blame Democrats for “soft on crime” policies, particularly the push by some progressives to “defund the police” - a contentious slogan used to describe reallocating funds from police departments for other forms of public safety and community support, such as mental health services, youth services, housing and education.

They have also highlighted violent attacks by the left: such as the Bernie Sanders supporter who shot Republican whip Steve Scalise in 2017, or the dozens of church organisations attacked after the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn federal abortion rights in June.

“It’s easier to blame Republicans than have a serious discussion about the rise of violent crimes across the nation,” says deputy chair James Comer.


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