As the LGBTQ+ community has gained visibility in entertainment, politics, and corporate America, anti-LGBTQ smear campaigns and attacks escalated during Pride Month, including in “blue” states like California, where 1 in 5 of the anti-LGBTQ+ demonstrations took place, according to a new report.
June had the highest single-month level of anti-LGBTQ+ demonstrations since the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project began collecting data for the United States in 2020.
The Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project defines demonstrations as in-person events with three or more people. This new spike in the group’s data comes after anti-LGBTQ+ demonstrations had surged to their highest point on record by late 2022, according to the project.
The report from the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project notes that while many demonstrations were billed as anti-Pride, they also targeted drag shows and gender-affirming care.
These smear campaigns and efforts were recorded in 26 states and the District of Columbia, but concentrated in Texas, New York, and California, with just under 20% of the anti-LGBTQ+ events taking place in the Golden State.
The Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project previously reported a more than 300% increase in anti-LGBTQ+ actions by far-right extremists in 2022, compared to 2021, which it said “strongly” correlates with acts of violence against people who are perceived as gay or transgender.
Drag events were protested or threatened 141 times in 2022.
It also correlates with legislative efforts to take away rights from the LGBTQ+ community across the nation.
It’s important to note that right-wing groups, including white supremacists and religious conservatives, have joined forces to target the LGBTQ+ community.
However, many Americans are shocked by images of armed thugs attempting to dictate who can read books at the library or take over a school board meeting.
Approximately half of the dozens of anti-LGBTQ+ demonstrations in June “were met by opposing demonstrators who showed support for LGBTQ+ rights,” the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project said.