Dangerous Divide: Pride Month Sparks Huge Anti-LGBTQ Response Across America

Not yet one week into the LGBTQ+ Pride Month celebrations, homophobic social media and anti-gay groups are targeting the community. 

And So It Begins

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All throughout the United States, Republicans and other anti-gay groups have started their own campaign against Pride Month. 

Slashin Banners

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In Washington, 14 Pride banners were destroyed while social media faced an onslaught of homophobic posts by Republican groups. 

A Rough Start

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Even with the LGBTQ+ community continuing to grow and advocate for not only their visibility but their human rights, this month has been off to a rough start. 

Hostility Increases

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While social media posts jeer “Burn all the #pride flags this June,” many within the community say that this year is showing a new level of hostility on the international celebration. 

Vandalizing Churches

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No one seems quite safe from the vandalizing and the harsh words of the anti-gay community, even places of worship. 

An “Abomination”

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A Methodist church in South Dakota known for welcoming the LGBTQ+ community was vandalized with hateful graffiti. The perpetrators covered the sidewalk with “ABOMINATION” accompanied by a bible verse against homosexuality. 

“Progressively Getting Worse”

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A member of the Methodist Church that was attacked, Heather Cain, said “I just feel like it’s progressively getting worse and worse,” continuing, “The louder and prouder the LGBTQ community gets, the angrier people get”.

Increase in Rights, Increase in Anger

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Cain stated, “The more we have rights, the more people don’t want us to have that or be happy about having it”. 

The Laws Involved 

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The LGBTQ+ community is not only facing hostility on social media and in public places, but are increasingly targeted by lawmakers themselves. 

The Conservative Crackdown

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This has been a landmark year for legislation, as the United States faced crackdowns on reproductive and LGBTQ+ rights in the more conservative states. 

Shocking Statistics 

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In 2023, over 520 anti-LGBTQ+ bills were introduced, setting a new record. Almost half of those bills specifically targeted transgender and non-binary rights.  While many of these were eventually contested or have not yet been approved, a record breaking 70 anti-LGBTQ+ laws did pass through the legislation process. 

Breaking It Down

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These laws range from banning gender affirming care for minors, censoring curriculum and books, and banning specific drag performances. 

An Attempt at Erasure

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If there is one thing in common amongst these bills, it is the attempt to strip down the rights and visibility of these minority groups and creating an environment ripe for LGBTQ+ erasure. 

Nothing New

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2023 was a landmark year for legislation, but the hostility and hate facing the LGBTQ+ community is not something new. 

A Look Back 

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In previous years, nationalist groups have threatened gun violence and incited riots in Idaho. 2023 saw 145 incidents of harassment, assault and vandalism against the community during Pride Month alone. 

Government Warns of Terrorists

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In preparation for the celebration, both the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security warned the LGBTQ+ community that they could be targeted by terrorists. 

Activists Remain

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A New Yorker who first went to a Pride event in 1983, Tez Anderson, shared with NBC, “We have to not get too excited or worked up about these current threats because I’ve seen these threats happen over and over again”. 

A Sign of Progress

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Anderson, 65, continued “They get a little more intense every time because we are kind of everywhere now, which I see as an enormous sign of progress”.

The post Dangerous Divide: Pride Month Sparks Huge Anti-LGBTQ Response Across America first appeared on Pulse of Pride.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / MOZCO Mateusz Szymanski.