On Saturday night, July 16 signs were posted on walls at the world’s largest queer church, Sunshine Cathedral in Fort Lauderdale. The signs were removed early Sunday morning and disposed of by a supporter of the church. The signs were not fully disclosed until yesterday after the church supporter removed them from the trash to bring to Church Administration yesterday. Senior Rev Dr Robert Griffin said that “Sunday services would have gone into lock down if we had been aware of the signs and messages Sunday morning.” It appears the currently unknown individual intended for the messages to be seen by LGBTQ+ members of the church as they arrived for Sunday Services. One of the signs was placed on a wall where the Happening Out Television Network studios is located at Sunshine Cathedral Square. We are broadcasting just feet from that location. Happening Out broadcasted the 10:30 am Sunday service live to thousands of viewers. The hand written posters had many rambling and disjointed messages including referencing pedophiles and sex crimes. One of the signs mentions Qanon discredited conspiracy theory “PizzaGate”, a bizarre claim against Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. One message promotes pedoempire.org, an extreme alt right website that says the gay community is behind the normalization of making pedophilia of children the norm in American society. A separate rant is connecting Covid-19 and rage against wearing masks and Dr. Anthony Fauci as part of an LGBTQ+ Satanic plot. In the days leading up to last month's June Pride Month President Joe Biden warned of "rising hate and violence" against the LGBTQ community amid a recent uptick in charged rhetoric around LGBTQ issues across the country. The president issued the warning on the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. It commemorates 1990 when the World Health Organization declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder. Biden said "Since that time, there has been much progress. But we continue to witness disturbing setbacks and rising hate and violence targeting LGBTQI+ people in the United States and around the world. This is wrong." In recent months, conservative lawmakers, television pundits and other public figures have accused opponents of the newly enacted Florida education legislation. dubbed the "Don't Say Gay" law — of trying to "groom" or "indoctrinate" children. The word “grooming” has long been associated with mischaracterizing LGBTQ people, particularly gay men and transgender women, as child sex abusers. It seems this was at the heart of the rambling messages of attack on Sunshine Cathedral. As the rhetoric surrounding LGBTQ issues has become more charged, several LGBTQ safe spaces and celebrations have also been targeted with threats or acts of violence. The Southern Poverty Law Center says that “Groups that vilify the LGBTQ community, in fact, represent the fastest-growing sector among hate groups.” Rev Dr Robert Griffen told Queer News Tonight that this is just one of many threats that have been made against the world’s largest Queer Church. He said “It no longer shocks me. But it still shocks me.” There are security cameras at Sunshine Cathedral and more information on the perpetrator may be coming. In the meantime, Griffin said “Nothing will prevent Sunshine Cathedral from being a welcoming place and to serve everyone in our community. Nothing.” Queer News Tonight will continue to follow this story.
Mon, Oct 3, 2022 Daily LIVE LGBTQ+ News Broadcast | Queer News Tonight
Anchor: Queer News Tonight