News (USA)

Christian website writer threatened to slaughter LGBTQ+ people. He just pled guilty.

Adam Michael Nettina
Adam Michael Nettina Photo: Department of Justice

A former writer for a conservative political advocacy group’s website has pleaded guilty to making threats against the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).

In a press release Wednesday, the Justice Department said that 34-year-old Adam Michael Nettina of West Friendship, Maryland, pleaded guilty in a U.S. District Court in Baltimore to a federal crime for using a telephone to threaten the Washington, D.C.-based LGBTQ+ advocacy group.

According to court documents, the HRC, the nation’s largest LGBTQ+ rights organization, received a threatening voicemail from Nettina on March 28. In his message, Nettina referenced the March 27 mass shooting at the Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee, in which a 28-year-old shooter, who was reportedly transgender, killed six people, including three children. (The DOJ’s press release misidentifies the shooter as “a transgender woman.”) That shooter was a former student of the Christian school.

In the wake of the shooting, conservative commentators and Republican politicians used the shooter’s possible gender identity to further stoke animus against the transgender community.

“You guys going to shoot up our schools now? Is that how it’s going to be? You just gonna kill little kids?” Nettina reportedly said in the voicemail. “Let me tell you something, we’re waiting, we’re waiting. And if you want a war, we’ll have a war. And we’ll f**king slaughter you back. We’ll cut your throats. We’ll put a bullet in your head. We’re not going to give a f**k. You started this bulls**t. You’re going to kill us? We’re going to kill you ten times more in full.”

According to the DOJ, Nettina admitted to leaving the voicemail and to targeting the HRC because of their actual and perceived gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation. He also admitted to sending threatening messages in 2022 to a Virginia state delegate who advocated for the prevention of abuse of trans children and to a Maryland state delegate who supported the trans community.  

Nettina faces up to five years in prison for interstate communications with a threat to injure.

“Bias-motivated threats of violence terrorize entire communities and have no place in our society,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said in a statement. “We will not stand by idly when the LGBTQI+ community faces bias-motivated threats of violence. The Justice Department will continue to investigate and prosecute individuals who commit unlawful acts of hate in our country.”

Luis Quesada, assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal Investigation Division, said the bureau would not tolerate acts of hate and remains committed to investigating civil rights violations. “The defendant in this case attempted to terrorize the LGBTQI+ community by calling in multiple threats of violence to a local advocacy group,” Quesada said.

“You have the right to your own opinions, but you don’t have the right to threaten the lives of those who disagree with you,” Erek L. Barron, U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland, said. “We’ll continue prosecuting these threats to the fullest extent of the law.”

Following Nettina’s arrest earlier this year, CBS affiliate WUSA9 reported that he had worked as an independent contractor for the conservative non-profit political advocacy group CatholicVote, where he published multiple anti-LGBTQ+ articles since 2016. Nettina’s articles have since been removed from the group’s website.

Don't forget to share:

Support vital LGBTQ+ journalism

Reader contributions help keep LGBTQ Nation free, so that queer people get the news they need, with stories that mainstream media often leaves out. Can you contribute today?

Cancel anytime · Proudly LGBTQ+ owned and operated

Country singer Ty Herndon marries boyfriend Alex Schwartz in star-studded ceremony

Previous article

Incarcerated individuals have a voice & it’s time politicians listen up

Next article