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The shooting suspect is being held for possible hate crimes—but you won’t hear these politicians mentioning it.
The man suspected of killing five people at a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs on Saturday night faces preliminary charges of murder and hate crimes, suggesting that officials believe he may have targeted victims based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
“It’s important to let the community know that we do not tolerate bias-motivated crimes in this community, that we support communities that have been maligned, harassed, and intimidated and abused,” El Paso County District Attorney Michael Allen said at a press conference Monday. “If there’s enough evidence to support that in this case, when we get to the formal filing charges, we will absolutely be including those charges here.”
Some lawmakers, like Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, who is openly gay, were quick to recognize how the shooting felt like an attack on the LGBTQ community. “Colorado stands with our LGTBQ community and everyone impacted by this tragedy as we mourn together,” Polis, who is currently recovering from Covid, said in a statement.
Here’s Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), whose district includes Denver:
But a number of Republican politicians, including those have stoked a moral panic about “grooming,” have stuck to broad generalizations, making it appear that they’re conveniently avoiding the topic of gender identity. To be fair, these reactions were posted before information about the motivations of the shooter had come to light; there’s still a lot we don’t know. But either way, social media users were quick to point out that these Republicans’ omissions couldn’t obscure their histories of stirring up hatred against the LGBTQ community.
Horrifying news out of Colorado Springs this morning. My heart goes out to everyone who lost loved ones and the entire LGBTQ+ community after last night’s attack. I stand with all those condemning this hatred and violence.
— Rep. Diana DeGette (@RepDianaDeGette) November 20, 2022
Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.), who represents Colorado Springs in Congress, opposes same-sex marriage and repeatedly sought to defund PBS because of its portrayals of LGBTQ individuals in series like Prideland. After the shooting, Lamborn issued a generic response urging people to “pray for the victims and their families.”
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