Proud Boys hashtag taken over with messages of gay love

President Trump name-checked far right group Proud Boys last week

Matt Mathers@MattEm90
Monday 05 October 2020 13:06
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Trump refuses to denounce white supremacism and instead tells Proud Boys to ‘stand back and stand by'

A hashtag used by the far right group Proud Boys has been taken over by Twitter users sharing messages of gay love.

Gay couples have shared pictures of themselves, their families and loved ones in an attempt to divert attention away from Proud Boys, which uses the hashtag of the same name.

Proud Boys is a white nationalist group that has been accused of inciting violence in cities across the US amid a wave of Black Lives Matter protests in recent months.

The group made headlines when name-checked by Donald Trump during last week's first presidential debate.

Mr Trump, 74, told members of the group to "stand back and stand by" when asked by moderator Chris Wallace if he would condemn white supremacy.

Proud Boys – whose members describe themselves as "Western chauvinists" – has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for its "anti-Muslim and misogynistic rhetoric".

The Anti-Defamation League calls the Proud Boys’ ideology "misogynistic, Islamophobic, transphobic, and anti-immigration."

In an effort to counter the group's hate speech, gay couples took to Twitter on Sunday to spread messages of love.

It was not immediately clear who started the campaign, but it appears to have been given a boost by the actor George Takei.

"What if gay guys took pictures of themselves making out with each other or doing very gay things, then tagged themselves with #ProudBoys," Mr Takei tweeted earlier this month.

"I bet it would mess them up real bad. #ReclaimingMyShine".  

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