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American Opinion: We’re looking at you, Lauren Boebert. Stop the intolerance

From the editorial: If you are interested in donating to support the victims of the Club Q shooting, the Colorado Healing Fund has been activated. The donation link is: coloradogives.org/organization/COHealingFund.

A makeshift memorial near the Club Q nightclub continues to grow on Nov. 21, 2022, in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
A makeshift memorial near the Club Q nightclub continues to grow on Nov. 21, 2022, in Colorado Springs, Colorado. On Saturday evening, a 22-year-old gunman entered the LGBTQ nightclub and opened fire, killing at least five people and injuring more than a dozen others before being stopped by club patrons.
(Scott Olson/Getty Images/TNS)
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We are weary of writing versions of the same editorial over and over again.

Thoughts and prayers do not end gun violence. Words matter. Hateful, intolerant speech has no place in public discourse.

American Opinion
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Tribune graphic / Forum News Service
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But here we are again, grieving the loss of young lives and aching for the families that must bury their children. Here we are again, wondering what prompted a young person to arm themselves intent on destruction. Again we ponder where the killing machines came from, whether they were acquired legally and what could have stopped the shooter. Here we are again, awed by the bravery of the bystanders who subdued him so quickly.

And so we will once again write that the gunman is responsible for firing those bullets but we provided the tools and there are those among us who fed a narrative of hate and intolerance, failing to either understand or care where those words can lead.

Let’s take Rep. Lauren Boebert, who tweeted this out on Nov. 20 in the wake of the Club Q shooting: “The news out of Colorado Springs is absolutely awful. This morning the victims & their families are in my prayers. This lawless violence needs to end and end quickly.”

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This is the same person who has previously offered up these gems: “Take your children to CHURCH, not drag bars” and “We went from Reading Rainbow to Randy Rainbow in a few decades, but don’t dare say the Left is grooming our kids!”

Boebert was rightly excoriated for her role in elevating hateful speech against the LGBTQ community. As an added bonus, her hard-line positions on gun control, ruling out even commonsense measures, mean she would not have supported any efforts that might have kept guns out of this shooter’s possession.

Boebert’s profile made her an easy target for those pointing out the dangerous environment created when we fail to treat our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer neighbors as equals. But she is not the only one in this state, let alone the nation, guilty of perpetuating the rhetoric that fuels fear and hate.

The Post’s Elizabeth Hernandez recently reported on the guidance from the Archdiocese of Denver, advising Catholic schools to treat gay parents differently from straight parents and to not enroll transgender students. The Colorado High School Activities Association has overlooked that discrimination and allows those religious schools to continue participating in its events.

And then there’s the befuddling response of some members of the state board of education, who balked at the notion of a more inclusive social studies curriculum. Steve Durham, for example, maintained his objections to the end, saying teaching children about LGBTQ “sexual issues” in school is inappropriate.

These leaders are leading us in the wrong direction, away from a world where we honor the differences among us and strive to allow every person to grow into their best, most authentic selves.

As the dead are buried, and as this case works its way through the courts, we will no doubt be assaulted with the same vile remarks we’ve heard before about the LGBTQ community.

Those voices should never be elevated and we are disheartened to see them creeping into mainstream social media channels. We are disappointed voters decided Boebert’s behavior should, as of the latest vote tally, be rewarded with another term in Congress.

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We take heart, though, at the progress that has been made, including Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez’s care in announcing each victim and the pronouns that person used as he read the names of those who died Saturday night.

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But we know the work to make this the inclusive, supportive community we deserve goes on and we all have a role to play, as Rep. Brianna Titone, Colorado’s first out transgender legislator, made clear.

“We shouldn’t have to live our lives like this and we need the non-LGBTQ community to understand that life is not getting better for us and that we need help.”

If you are interested in donating to support the victims of the Club Q shooting, the Colorado Healing Fund has been activated. The donation link is: coloradogives.org/organization/COHealingFund.

This American Opinion editorial is the view of the Denver Post Editorial Board. Send feedback to: opinion@wctrib.com.

©2022 MediaNews Group, Inc. Visit at denverpost.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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