(CNSNews.com) – Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) dismissed the notion that some in the LGBTQ+ community are basically recruiting children into that lifestyle by “grooming” them to accept it — through drag-queen story hours for children, for example, or homosexual pornography in the school library.
At a hearing of the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Wednesday, Porter noted that the Human Rights Campaign released a report on the 500 most-viewed and most-influential Tweets that identified LGBTQ people as “groomers.”
“The groomer narrative is an age-old lie to position LGBTQ+ people as a threat to kids, and what it does is deny them access to public spaces and stokes fear and can even stoke violence,” Porter said. She asked HRC President Kelley Robinson if Twitter policy allows posts that call LGBTQ people “groomers.”
“No,” Robinson said:
“I mean, Twitter along with Facebook and many others have community guidelines. It’s about holding users accountable to those guidelines and acknowledging that when we use phrases and words like groomers and pedophiles to describe people, individuals in our communities that are mothers, that are fathers, that are teachers, that are doctors, it is dangerous.
“And it’s got one purpose, it is to dehumanize us and make it feel like we are not a part of this American society. And it has real-life consequences. So we are calling on social media companies to uphold their community standards and we’re also calling on any American that is seeing this play out to hold ourselves and our community members accountable.
“We wouldn’t accept this in our families, we wouldn’t accept this in our schools, there’s no reason to accept it online.”
Porter agreed: “I think you’re absolutely right. And it’s not a — this allegation of groomer and pedophile, it is alleging that a person is criminal somehow and engaged in criminal acts merely because of their identity, their sexual orientation, their gender identity. So this is clearly prohibited under Twitter’s content….”
Robinson said the “groomer” posts on Twitter are rarely taken down.
Porter not only slammed Twitter. She also took the opportunity to slam Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis for his parental rights bill that LGBT activists have dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
As DeSantis said when he signed the bill in March, “Parents have every right to be informed about services offered to their child at school, and should be protected from schools using classroom instruction to sexualize their kids as young as 5 years old.”
“Miss Robinson,” Porter said, “Your report notes that these radicalizing posts, these groomer posts that target LGBTQ communities, are related to acts in the real world. What happens online is often reflective of what happens in the real world. After Gov. DeSantis, Gov. DeSantis of Florida, passed his so-called ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, what trends did you observe online with regard to grooming-related discourse?” Porter asked.
“Unfortunately,” Robinson responded, “we saw a 400 percent increase on Twitter of this sort of hateful language, particularly calling our community members groomers and pedophiles. And we know that whether or not the bills move into effect, the lasting impact of that online bullying, of defining our communities in that way, it sticks. Especially with our kids.”
As her time expired, Porter told the witnesses, “I am proud to say ‘gay,’ I’m proud to stand with the gay community, and I’m proud that you are all here today as a part of our country and giving us testimony.”
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