CA lawmaker, advocate explain how politicians' anti-LGBTQ rhetoric has life or death consequences

ByTim Johns KGO logo
Thursday, November 24, 2022
How politicians' anti-LGBTQ rhetoric can have devastating impact
Anti-LGBTQ and trans rhetoric from politicians like Marjorie Taylor Greene has a devastating impact on the mental health LGBTQ+ people, expert says.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Far-right Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene called out California State Senator Scott Wiener in a tweet sent out Tuesday.

In the tweet Greene called Wiener a "communist groomer."

Wiener responded to the attack, talking to ABC7 News by phone.

"Usually when she comes after me, I get more death threats. So, it's pretty bad and she's a pretty atrocious human being," said Wiener.

The word groomer has both homophobic and transphobic undertones, and has been used as an insult against LGBTQ people for decades.

However in recent times, it's regained popularity among proponents of far-right conspiracy theories, like QAnon.

MORE: What is QAnon? Baseless conspiracy theory gains traction

"Groomer used to have a specific meaning, but it no longer has that meaning because it's being used now primarily to attack LGBTQ people and to basically say that we are pedophiles," Wiener said.

Also in her tweet, Greene called for the passing of Protect Children's Innocence Act.

The bill, which she introduced to Congress in August, would make it a felony to perform gender affirming care on a minor.

"Unfortunately, what we know very clearly is that this type of rhetoric from people like Marjorie Taylor Greene has a really devastating impact on the mental health of LGBTQ, people but trans kids in particular," said Samuel Garrett of Equality California.

MORE: 32 transgender people killed in the U.S. in 2022 reports agency tracking transgender violence

He says rhetoric like Greene's can have real-life and devastating consequences for trans youth - a group which already suffers from disproportionate rates of violence and suicide.

"What we saw over the weekend is those kinds of statements by her and her colleague, Lauren Boebert in Colorado, combined with lax gun laws can lead to violent attacks against the LGBTQ community," Garrett said.

New polling released by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation shows that 72% of transgender respondents and 48% of LGBTQ people overall say the current political environment makes them fear for their personal safety.

All the more reason, Wiener says, he's encouraging people to stand up to hatred any way they can.

"Supporting good candidates here in California, around the country, and getting the right people elected into office. That's ultimately what it comes down to," Wiener said.

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