In the wake of the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6, certain Republican members of Congress have been getting a lot of attention for being, at a minimum, fellow travelers with the rioters. The group includes four Representatives in particular: Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Paul Gosar (R-AZ) and Lauren Boebert (R-CO). All four have a history of hanging around with right-wing extremists.
In far from a shocking revelation, the white supremacists and nationalists behind the attack on the Capitol aren’t just racists. They were also viciously opposed to LGBTQ rights. From offensive events like Straight Pride parades to acts of vandalism and outright violence, these extremists represent a threat to LGBTQ people, and the four members of Congress who are under scrutiny for their connections to the insurrectionists are no different.
Like them, the four Representatives all have their own records of anti-LGBTQ extremism.
Greene has gotten the most attention, as her history on social media of conspiracy theories and threatening rhetoric has come to light. The weirdness of her beliefs boosts the attention to them. She thinks that California wildfires were caused by lasers from space as part of a Jewish conspiracy.
But Greene is more frequently disturbing than laughable, advocating physical harm to Democrats. She’s applies the same hateful language and harassment to LGBTQ issues.
As Project Q Atlanta has reported, Greene harassed a drag queen for 90 minutes at a Drag Queen Story Time event in April 2019. Greene posted the harassment of Miss Terra Cotta Sugerbaker on Facebook Live, calling Sugarbaker an “abomination.”
“I do not hate or have any ill will against that man. I just don’t like that gender confusion being put on young children,” Greene said during her stream. “This is the type of thing that if they want to do it in their private stores and their private homes, but in this community in Alpharetta, you have a Baptist church across the street with a Christian school. You have a Methodist church with another Christian school.”
In another Facebook post, Greene attacked trans people. “Trans does not mean gender change, just means a gender refusal and gender pretending!” Greene, who was elected in her Georgia district just last year, said. “Truth is truth, it is not a choice!!!”
Like Greene, Gosar has appeared at events with far-right extremists. He’s posed for a picture with the anti-LGBTQ Proud Boys. He even spoke at the Stop the Steal rally preceding the insurrection.
After Gosar first won election in 2012, he had no problem teaming up with the reprehensible racist Steve King on a bill to prevent trans people from using the bathroom of the gender they identify as. Gosar promoted his medical bonafides as the reason for the bill, suggesting that trans people were clinically crazy.
“We have a lot of things, you know, as a medical professional, we have to start looking at, some of the, particularly, the transgender issue has to be looked at in the psychotic—the psychosis in regards to the medical community and looking at that application because there’s a lot of mixed studies in those regards,” Gosar said.
Gosar, however, is a dentist.
He’s also such a terrible person that six of his siblings cut an ad for his opponent in 2018, warning voters about Gosar’s extremism. He was re-elected anyway.
Biggs is cut from the same cloth. The Arizona Republican, first elected to Congress in 2016, was one of jut a handful of members of Congress to vote against the coronavirus testing bill last spring. His reasoning: it may have helped same-sex couples.
“They’ve redefined family for the first time in a federal — in a piece of federal legislation, to include committed relationships,” Biggs said on a radio program produced by the hate group Family Research Council.
Not to be left out, freshman Lauren Boebert is best known for boasting about carrying a Glock on the streets of DC, is equally anti-LGBTQ. Last summer, when she was running for Congress, Boebert took time out to complain about rumors that SpongeBob SquarePants was gay.
“I don’t think a show that primarily caters to the 12 & under crowd needs to reveal to the world that their lead character is gay, straight or anything else,” Boebert tweeted.
Far worse is Boebert’s open hostility to other officials–she tweeted about Nancy Pelosi’s location during the insurrection–and her willingness to pal around with the Three Percenters, a white supremacist militia group.
The Republican leadership has done nothing to rein in these extremists in its own ranks. Nor is it likely that it will, for fear of incurring the wrath of their increasingly rabid base.
As long as the extremists have a safe harbor in the GOP, no one else — especially LGBTQ people — is safe.