Controversial Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert (R.) came under criticism for her past statements about LBGTQ people after five people were killed and at least 18 others injured in Colorado Springs, Colorado, last Saturday night, at a gay bar.
The shooting happened the night before Transgender Day of Remembrance, which honors the many trans people killed in hate crimes.
On Sunday, Lauren Boebert — who has made very well known her anti-LGBTQ rhetoric, pro-gun activism, hateful comments about Muslims, and her support for many far right conspiracy theories, such as Donald Trump’s “big lie” about election fraud.
Boebert tweeted on Sunday:
“The news out of Colorado Springs is absolutely awful. This morning the victims & their families are in my prayers. This lawless violence needs to end and end quickly.”
Critics were quick to point out that Boebert’s tweet failed to mention that the shooting had taken place at a gay club, which seems convenient for her, as he has consistently be hateful toward that particular group of people, including accusations of the LGBTQ community “grooming” children.
“Boebert’s “grooming” comments stem from a growing wave of anti-LGBTQ rhetoric that has coalesced into a right-wing moral panic. Conservatives have repeatedly smeared LGBTQ people and their allies as pedophiles and child predators — baseless claims that have roots in age-old anti-gay tropes and conspiracy theories like QAnon.
From those fringe beginnings, the term has made its way into the mainstream, appearing on Fox News and in talking points of high-ranking conservative lawmakers like Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has called Democrats “the party of pedophiles.” Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law, which bans teachers from speaking in class about sexual orientation and gender identity, was nicknamed the “Anti-Grooming Bill” by one of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’s top staffers.”
Boebert’s response to the shooting has been criticized for being disingenuous and hollow.
New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted:
“[Y]ou have played a major role in elevating anti-LGBT+ hate rhetoric and anti-trans lies while spending your time in Congress blocking even the most common sense gun safety laws. You don’t get to ‘thoughts and prayers’ your way out of this. Look inward and change.”
Another Democratic rep. Brianna Titone of Colorado, who is the first openly trans legislator elected in Colorado told Boebert she need to “just resign,” in her Tweet:
“Thanks for the ‘thoughts and prayers’ but that does nothing to offset the damage that you directly did to incite these kinds of attacks on the LGBTQ+ community. You spreading tropes and insults contributed to the hatred for us. There’s blood on your hands.”