Monday, 05 Jun 2023

Desperate and bigoted: US right uses latest shooting to malign trans people

Desperate and bigoted: US right uses latest shooting to malign trans people


Desperate and bigoted: US right uses latest shooting to malign trans people

An already vigorous assault by Republicans on LGBTQ+ rights around the US is certain to gather pace in the wake of the Nashville school shooting, advocacy groups are warning.

Hard-right figures wasted little time in seizing on the reported transgender identity of the Covenant school killer to advance tenets of a "hateful" agenda that has become an obsession of Republican-controlled statehouses from Florida to Tennessee.

In contrast to a muted response to numerous mass shootings in which the majority of the killers were white, male and cisgender, these extremists appear to be manipulating the Nashville shooter's self-identification to make their case for even more anti-trans legislation, even as they eschew gun control.

They include Donald Trump Jr seeking an end to what he calls "bullshit" gender-affirming care; Marjorie Taylor Greene having her Twitter account temporarily suspended for misrepresenting a planned protest against anti-trans laws; and homophobic and transphobic rants from Fox News hosts Laura Ingraham and Tucker Carlson, the latter blasting the trans movement as "the natural enemy of Christianity".

"We knew the hate bombs were coming," said Jay W Walker, cofounder of the Gays Against Guns advocacy organization set up after the 2016 attack on the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando that killed 49.

"We knew the second the identity of this person came out as trans it was going to be all about demonizing trans people, as they're already doing across the country with hundreds of bills in different legislatures restricting medicine, stopping people using the bathroom or whatever they're trying to do.

"What's going to matter is what Democrats, progressives, liberals and all attendant LGBTQ+ groups do in response, because the left has a history of backing down when the right starts doing these big pushes."

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