Some Republicans use false ‘pedophilia’ claims to attack Democrats, LGBTQ people

Some Republicans use false ‘pedophilia’ claims to attack Democrats, LGBTQ people

It was an eyebrow-raising moment in the confirmation hearings for the first Black female Supreme Court justice, Ketanji Brown Jackson — a grilling about her stance on child porn offenders.

Several Republicans availed themselves of their time in front of a national audience to question Jackson about her philosophy around sentencing guidelines, to the frustration at times of the judge and Democratic lawmakers.

The words “pedophilia,” “grooming” and “child abuse” have also been tossed around by conservative figures and legislators in the debate about LGBTQ content, inclusion and treatment in schools.

Some Republicans seem to be resurfacing these false stereotypes as a political tool to rile up their base and further marginalize LGBTQ people, experts say.

The focus, the experts say, echoes the language used by the far-right conspiracy theory of QAnon, which promulgates the false notion that there is a secret cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophile power players who control the government…

Focusing on ‘grooming’

The Parental Rights in Education law, what critics call the “Don’t Say Gay” law, spurred debate over whether young children should learn about the LGBTQ community in schools, with several legislators calling such lessons “indoctrination.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the bill in March to ban curriculum mentioning sexual orientation or gender identity in kindergarten through grade three “or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.”

“We will make sure that parents can send their kids to school to get an education, not an indoctrination,” DeSantis said at the bill signing.MORE: Amid anti-LGBTQ efforts, transgender community finds joy in ‘chosen families’

In a tweet, DeSantis’s press secretary, Christina Pushaw, claimed that anyone who opposes the Parental Rights in Education bill was “probably a groomer.” Grooming generally refers to when someone manipulates a person — typically a child or teen — in order to commit a sexual offense, according to the American Bar Association.

More than 6 in 10 Americans oppose legislation like the Florida bill that would prohibit classroom lessons about sexual orientation or gender identity in elementary school, according to a March ABC News/Ipsos poll.

DeSantis’ office did not respond to ABC News request for comment.

Shortly after, in April, a so-called “anti-grooming” protest by far-right extremists and conspiracy theorists took to the Disney World grounds where protestors falsely accused Disney, the parent company of ABC News, of helping groom children after the company criticized Florida legislators for implementing the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill….

CONTINUED

Some Republicans use false ‘pedophilia’ claims to attack Democrats, LGBTQ people – ABC News (go.com)

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