Bias Watch

Failed GOP Senate candidate accuses gay dads of sexually abusing babies by hugging them

Lauren Witzke
Lauren Witzke Photo: Screenshot/Delaware Republican Party

Former Republican Senate candidate Lauren Witzke is accusing two gay men of being “pedophiles” for having children and hugging them.

Witzke got the GOP’s nomination in 2020 to run for the U.S. Senate seat in Delaware but lost to Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), but she’s still active in both the media and social media. On Twitter, she posted a video from gay couple Eric and Anthony Vaughn-Trainor’s social media accounts that shows them holding their premature twins for the first time. They had children with help from a surrogate.

It was a beautiful moment for the Vaughn-Trainor family – “This is the moment we’ve waited a lifetime for,” they wrote on the TikTok video’s description – but Witzke decided to accuse them of stealing their own children and molesting them. Her only evidence of those strong accusations appears to be the sexual orientation of the dads.

“A new fetish with pedophiles consists of robbing babies from their mothers straight out of the womb,” Witzke wrote. “This is human trafficking and in a sane society- would be illegal.”

In response to her tweet, many people called her out. Some thought that maybe she didn’t understand what she was seeing and described “kangaroo care” to her, where parents – of any gender – hold a newborn baby on their bare chest. Experts say that it has numerous health benefits for the child.

Others accused her of slandering the Vaughn-Trainors and encouraged them to pursue legal action against her.

If what Witzke was implying wasn’t clear enough, she made it more explicit when replying to comments.

“Gay couples ‘adopting’ little children is like dangling heroin in front of a drug addict every single day,” she wrote, sharing a story about gay fathers who sexually molested their kids. According to the Stop Abuse Campaign, fewer than 1% of child sex abusers identify as gay or lesbian. The American Psychological Association says, “Homosexual men are not more likely to sexually abuse children than heterosexual men are.”

“The only difference between a groomer and a pedophile is access,” she wrote in a separate tweet. “Keep these creeps away from our kids.”

Witzke won the GOP primary for her U.S. Senate campaign with 57% of the vote on September 16, 2020. She went on to lose to Coons, getting 38% of the vote to his 59%.

She has since appeared on far-right radio host Rick Wiles’s show TruNews, where she claimed that she and her colleagues “battle demonic spirits” and that Wiles was hospitalized with COVID-19 in 2021 not because he’s unvaccinated but because the devil was retaliating against the show for attacking LGBTQ+ people.

In 2022, Witzke said that the Highland shooter – who killed seven people and injured at least 46 others – was transgender even though there was no reason to believe that he was not a cisgender man.

In 2021, she appeared on an online panel discussion with transgender MAGA influencer Blaire White. White said that she opposes trans children accessing gender-affirming care or transitioning, and Witzke said “Good!”

“Great! The best thing you can do for us is grow out your mustache and tell people not to live like you,” Witze told White.

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