Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat from New York, called on her House colleague Lauren Boebert, a Republican from Colorado, on Sunday for her anti-LGBTQ rhetoric after the Club Q shooting in Colorado.
Just before midnight on Saturday, a mass shooting broke out at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, leaving five people dead and 18 injured. Police have since arrested a 22-year-old suspect, Anderson Lee Aldrich. While the motives for the att*ck have yet to be confirmed by law enforcement, the choice of the gay club has raised concerns among many about the homophobic venom leading to violence against the LGBTQ community.
Boebert, who represents Colorado’s 3rd congressional district, tweeted Sunday morning her dismay at the shooting and expressed her sympathy for the victims and their loved ones.
“The news from Colorado Springs is absolutely terrible,” Boebert tweeted. “This morning, the victims and their families are in my prayers. This unlawful violence must end, and soon.”
In response to the congresswoman’s tweet, Ocasio-Cortez, an avowed progressive, mocked her Republican Party colleague for spreading “anti-LGBT+ hate rhetoric” and opposing sensible gun control laws.
“[Lauren Boebert] You played a major role in raising anti-LGBT+ hate rhetoric and anti-transgender lies, spending time in Congress blocking even the most common sense gun safety legislation,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote in a tweet. “thoughts and prayers” to get out of this. Look inside yourself and change yourself.”
Newsweek contacted Boebert’s office for comment.
Meanwhile, Ocasio-Cortez later shared another tweet highlighting how right-wing rhetoric has often preceded violent att*cks on marginalized communities in the past.
“After Trump raised anti-immigrant and anti-Hispanic rhetoric, we had the deadliest shooting against Hispanics in modern history,” wrote Ocasio-Cortez. “After anti-Asian hate w/COVID, Atlanta. Tree of Life. Emmanuel AME. Buffalo. And now after the anti-LGBT+ campaign, Colorado Springs. Connect the dots [GOP]”.
In July, Boebert ridiculed the Marriage Respect Act, a bill intended to codify gay marriage protections after the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wadewhen the government went overboard with “undermining masculinity.” The bill was then passed by the House of Representatives and recently passed in the Senate, 62-37, after several months of delay and consideration.
“I don’t think the federal government should get involved in marriage,” Boebert said in an interview with conservative media figure Charlie Kirk. “My marriage to my husband is really between me and God, not between me and the government. But it was absolutely unnecessary. They att*cked our institutions. They have weakened the nuclear family and undermined masculinity and even femininity.”
Boebert has also often spoken out against transgender people, stating that she believes these people should be prohibited making life decisions based on gender and s*xual identity before the age of 21. She also objected legislation that would implement passenger-friendly screening techniques at airport security checkpoints.
While the motive for the att*ck on Club Q has yet to be verified, NBC News reporter Ben Collins noted on Twitter that the last post the company made on its official Facebook page prior to the shooting was to promote an all-ages Drag Brunch event. Such family events, as well as Drag Queen Story Hours, were heavily targeted by Conservatives last year, with many events being subject to threats and intimidation.
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