Colorado Republicans call for pride flags to be burned to stop ‘godless groomers’

LGBTQ+ Republicans and Democrats ripped the GOP over the email seeking to stop “godless groomers.”

Graig Graziosi
Thursday 06 June 2024 17:28 BST
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The Colorado Republican Party doubled down on a homophobic message by standing by a tweet calling for the burning of all Pride flags during the month of June.

“Burn all the #pride flags this June,” the state Republicans wrote Monday in a post on X.

The state party also sent a conspiracy-laden, fear-mongering email about LGBTQ people and Pride month to supporters as it continued to attack Pride month and people who celebrate it.

“The month of June has arrived and, once again, the godless groomers in our society want to attack what is decent, holy, and righteous so they can ultimately harm our children,” the letter, signed by Colorado GOP Party Chair Dave Williams, said.

The email also included a video sermon from a disgraced pastor titled "God Hates Flags," a name that shares a striking similarity to the "God Hates F***" slogan used by the bigoted members of the Westboro Baptist Church.

Colorado’s Republican Party openly called for the burning of Pride flags and pushed conspiracy theories that LGBTQ+ individuals want to hurt and sexualize children.
Colorado’s Republican Party openly called for the burning of Pride flags and pushed conspiracy theories that LGBTQ+ individuals want to hurt and sexualize children. (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Williams continued to spew hate when he spoke to USA TODAY about how God hates "pride flags," and doubled down on the party's comments.

“We make no apologies for saying God hates pride or pride flags as it’s an agenda that harms children and undermines parental authority, and the only backlash we see is coming from radical Democrats, the fake news media, and weak Republicans who bow down at the feet of leftist cancel culture," he said.

Shad Murib, Colorado's Democratic Party Chair, pointed to the comments an example of blatant, flagrant, extremist rhetoric coming from the state GOP.

Colorado Republican Party Chairman Dave Williams, issued a tweet calling for the burning of Pride flags and who pushed bigoted conspiracy theories about LGBTQ+ individuals in early June 2024
Colorado Republican Party Chairman Dave Williams, issued a tweet calling for the burning of Pride flags and who pushed bigoted conspiracy theories about LGBTQ+ individuals in early June 2024 (screengrab/Fox31)

"For those in the back, both parties are NOT the same," the chair wrote. “This type of vile hatred has come to define the CO GOP and it's why we're organizing up and down the ballot to beat them at all levels."

Colorado Representative David Ortiz, who is bisexual, likened the modern GOP's values to those of the Taliban.

"Y’all, under your current leadership, have more in common with the Taliban than the founding fathers. LGBTQ folks served and serve in the military," he wrote on X. "We are cops, we are firefighters, we are your family members & neighbors. We will outlast your bigotry and hate."

A Republican Congressional candidate and president of the state's Log Cabin Republicans — an LGBTQ+ advocacy group for conservatives — turned down the party's endorsement over the tweet and email.

Valdamar Archuleta, the president of the Log Cabin Republicans, said the messaging coming from Williams was not reflective of the attitudes of Republican voters in Colorado.

“I have been an avid critic of where the celebration of Pride has gone in recent years and firm supporter of protecting children from environments and entertainments that are of an adult nature. However, this email went too far and was just hateful,” Mr Archuleta said in a post on X. "I personally found it very troubling. I spoke with many LGBT and non LGBT Republicans yesterday who also found the message in the email disgusting and offensive. This email does NOT Represent the Republican voters of Colorado.

Williams said Archuleta doesn't have a choice but to accept the party's label and support as its "presumptive nominee" in November. He said if Archuleta does not accept the label then he would need to drop out of the race.

Archuleta retweeted a Colorado resident calling for Williams to resign, and later said he couldn’t “keep up with the correspondence from Republicans who are upset about the email from the @cologop. This may have awoken a dragon ... stay tuned.”

Abe Laydon, the Republican Commissioner of Douglas County, is a gay man and serves as a representative for one of the most conservative parts of the state.

He called the email "absolutely atrocious" and said it flies in the face of the GOP's religious and party values, according to Westword.

The GOP's email and tweet were issued just days before the Southern Poverty Law Center released data showing that antigovernment and hate groups are on the rise in Colorado.

The SPLC identified 30 active groups in the state as of 2023, up from 18 in 2021.

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