Via Buzzfeed: “But [Rubio] disagreed with concerns that a conservative political agenda to block LGBT protections in the United States emboldens attacks like the one at Pulse. ‘That is totally different than a terror attack,’ he said. ‘ISIS throws gay people off of buildings. That is removed from the debate about laws about marriage and things of that nature.’ ”
And that’s how the evangelical anti-gay American right already is spinning this. Never mind that the killer was born in America, raised in America, educated in America, and learned his homophobia and his hatred in America from people just like Rubio. Because the murderer made a last-minute claim to be motivated by ISIL, the anti-gay right gets to pretend to care about LGBT Americans while denying that they promote violence and hatred and even our deaths on a regular basis. Rubio and his ilk now stand on the dead and bleeding bodies of those they’ve routinely demonized and hounded and kicked to the curb, those they have deemed outside the protections of the U.S. Constitution, those they have called anti-American, perverse, pawns of Satan. Never mind that white Christian men like Eric Rudolph and Ronald Gay have committed bombings and mass shootings in gay bars.
Is it ISIL that causes American families to kick their gay kids to the streets? Is it ISIL that causes American bullies to drive gay youth to despair and suicide? Is it ISIL that has fought in the U.S. Congress and in state legislatures against LGBT civil rights? Is it ISIL that has ensured that LGBT people still can be legally fired, evicted, denied services by business in a majority of states? Is it ISIL that declares from U.S. pulpits, at a U.S. House conference meeting, at a 2015 rally attended by U.S. presidential nominees, that LGBT people “are worthy of death”? Was it ISIL that convinced Eric Rudolph to bomb a lesbian bar, two abortion clinics, and the 1996 summer Olympics in Atlanta, or Ronald Gay to walk into a gay bar in Roanoke, Virginia, just an hour from where I grew up, and start shooting patrons?
It was horrific enough that at least 50 human lives were snuffed out this weekend because of a hatred and a homophobia learned in America, but that the allegiance of this specific killer could allow despicable men like Rubio to ignore or minimize their own dehumanizing, deceitful, ugly, evil, hateful, and violent (emotionally if not always physically, but often enough the latter) anti-gay words and actions–“Well, we’re not as bad as ISIL”–might actually be the worst long-term fallout from Saturday night.