WASHINGTON — As Pride Month continues and on the heels of yet another series of tragic shootings, Republican lawmakers across the country once again have all the wrong priorities. In true GOP fashion, they are choosing to attack the LGBTQ+ community instead of helping pass popular gun safety reforms to keep communities safe. In a matter of days, Republicans in Texas, Florida, and Colorado have proposed legislation targeting the LGBTQ+ community — focusing more on demonizing drag shows than saving children’s lives.
“Firearms are now the leading cause of death for children in our country, yet Republican lawmakers who have the ability to protect our kids are wasting time spewing anti-LGBTQ+ hate,” said DLCC President Jessica Post. “Instead of listening to the majority of Americans who support common-sense gun safety legislation, Republicans are using Pride Month to peddle their bigoted rhetoric against LGBTQ+ people and deflect from the real issues at hand. Meanwhile, Democrats are leading on both issues and using their power to protect their communities by passing life-saving firearm regulations and fighting back against anti-LGBTQ+ legislation and rhetoric.”
Recent GOP Efforts Attacking Drag Shows and Ignoring Gun Violence:
- Texas: In the wake of the devastating school shooting in Uvalde, a Republican legislator leapt into action to keep kids safe — by announcing plans to file legislation banning kids from watching drag shows. Despite the alarming rise of mass shootings in Texas, the lead proponent of the bill expressed his opposition to new gun safety measures saying, “So far I haven’t heard anything that makes me think we need to change the gun laws.”
- Florida: Republicans are exploring similar anti-LGBTQ+ legislation to target drag shows, with one Republican legislator suggesting charging parents with a felony and terminating parental rights for bringing minors to such performances. He previously tweeted his support for making marksmanship a required class in Florida public schools and called for a special session aimed at watering down the state’s already loose gun laws.
- Colorado: A House Republican is calling for a special legislative session devoted to preventing kids from attending “twisted and perverted” drag shows. The same Republican has been helping an extremist gun group sue the state in an attempt to overturn Colorado’s red flag law.
While Congress remains gridlocked, state Democrats have moved swiftly to pass crucial gun safety bills in the aftermath of tragic shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde. In New York, Democrats passed a package of popular, life-saving gun reform measures. In California, Assembly Democrats are fast-tracking similar legislation. Nationwide, state Democrats are working to make their communities safer in the face of Republicans continuing to cash gun lobby checks and failing to stop rising gun violence.