Pride Month events subject to harassment and violence by anti-LGBTQ+ hate groups globally

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June is Pride Month around the world, and as expected, far-right groups have again taken to harassing and threatening LGBTQ+ groups and participants in Pride events, oftentimes by way of property destruction or even physical violence. Despite not yet seeing the levels of ani-LGBTQ+ hate that occurred during last year’s Pride Month, still, far-right groups have organized to disrupt them as much as possible. For more on last year’s Pride Month, read GPAHE’s previous research here.

This year, countless social media messages targeting specific LGBTQ+ events around the United States were posted by anti-LGBTQ+ accounts such as Gays Against Groomers and Libs of TikTok-affiliated accounts, jeopardizing the safety of participants and organizers at said-events. While many Pride events are held without disturbances, this kind of targeting can lead to more online harassment, protests, or violent attacks as evidenced by previous years and again this year.

Like last year, we’re again seeing frightening bomb threats. This June, such threats were called into Drag Show and Pride Month events in Seward, Alaska, Newton, Massachusetts, Woodstock, New York, Austin, Texas, Cook County, Illinois, Indianapolis, Indiana, Grand Marais, Minnesota, and Bisbee, Arizona.

Across the country, we’ve also seen anti-LGBTQ+ extremists steal, slash, or otherwise destroy LGBTQ+ flags ay public events and property damage to Pride flags painted on walls or streets. This was the case in Poulsbo, Washington, Carlisle, Massachusetts, Mitchell, South Dakota, Boise, Idaho, Chicago, Illinois, Missoula, Montana, Newberg, Oregon, Huntington, West Virginia, Norfolk, Virginia, New York, New York, Lake Station, Indiana, Dripping Springs, Texas, and Los Angeles, California

Physical violence against LGBTQ+ people occurred in Minnetonka, Minnesota and Rapid City, South Dakota

Some of the groups that showed up at Pride events around the country included those who claim that being or supporting the LGBTQ+ community is anti-Christian. In Cleveland, Ohio, Fairhope, Alabama, and Newcastle, Washington, religious protesters gathered to harass Pride Month attendees. In other locations, more explicit Christian Nationalists were present. In Dallas, Texas, the Christian Nationalist New Columbia Movement appeared at a protest organized by anti-LGBTQ+ activist Kelly Neidert. Members of the Christian Nationalist group La Nouvelle Vendée (The New Vendée), named after the pro-Catholic Church counter-revolutionaries in the French Revolution, protested a Pride event in Mandeville, Louisiana, which they referred to as “sexual degeneracy.”

Other far-right groups mobilized to protest and harass these events as well. Members of the anti-LGBTQ+ group MassResistance protested a Pride event in Nampa, Idaho. In North Carolina, the Cape Fear Proud Boys posted a message meant to intimidate the organizers of LGBTQ+ events in the state, saying that they had “sent Proud Boys to eight different pride events,” and included a specific threat to a local brewery in Willington. In Oregon City, members of the Proud Boys PDX urged their supporters to protest a Pride event being held at a local cafe that they characterized as a “pedophile planning party.” In Flower Mound, Texas, the Neo-Nazi Goyim Defense League left hundreds of baggies containing messages stating that “every single aspect of the LGBTQ+ movement is Jewish.” In Indiana, Pennsylvania, Patriot Front members from Network 16 protested a Pride event, which they referred to as “satanic.” 

While the United States has so far been host to the largest number of anti-LGBTQ+ threats and harassment, such incidents have also occurred abroad. In Ontario, Canada, the conspiracist group Action4Canada’s Windsor Chapter gathered for a protest against LGBTQ+ “indoctrination” in Windsor schools, and called for parents to keep their children at home. In London, Canada, an individual left rat poison near a petting zoo located at a Pride event, resulting in several of the animals dying. In Mexico City, government workers pulled down a large LGBTQ+ flag at their offices and desecrated it. 

In Zurich, Switzerland, the Neo-Nazi group Junge Tat used Pride Month as an excuse to distribute bigoted pamphlets to “biology deniers” using a drone. In Romania, traditionalist Orthodox protesters protested against a Pride event in Bucharest, while neo-fascists stole LGBTQ+ flags from another event in Cluj Napoca. In France, LGBTQ+ flags were removed from public places and desecrated in several locations by young Neo-Nazis, while in Saint Savin, a Neo-Nazi posted a threatening post to the attendees of a local Pride event, featuring a man armed with a rifle.

In Rome, Italy, activists from the Christian Nationalist group Militia Christi defaced vases, painted in the colors of the LGBTQ+ flag, that were placed in front of the church yard of the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore (see GPAHE’s entry for Militia Christi in the Italy country report here). In Flanders, neo-Nazis defaced LGBTQ+-themed picnic tables. In Klagenfurt, Austria, Identitarian activists covered an LGBTQ+-themed pedestrian crossing with the Austrian national colors, and other LGBTQ+ flags were desecrated in Lithuania and Poland during Pride Month events. In Bulgaria, a neo-Nazi physically attacked three LGBTQ+ individuals and stole their flag.

In the midst of the ongoing invasion of Ukraine, Pride participants in Kyiv gathered for the first time since 2021. This provoked the intervention of several far-right groups. Members of far-right Centuria, a part of the larger neo-fascist Azov movement, and the far right Right Sektor, and other anti-LGBTQ+ individuals, protested along the sidelines of the event. Neo-Nazi military officers and commanders in far-right battalions in Ukraine, including Denis Nikitin of the Neo-Nazi Russian Volunteer Corps, Maxim Zhorin of the far right 3rd separate assault brigade, military officer Christian Udarov, a leader of the far-right Tradition and Order, commander of the tactical group “Revanche” Bogdan Khodakovy, and Azovist Neo-Nazi Ivan Pilipchuk, who has ties to C14 and Tradition and Order, all called for the Pride March to be banned, citing war time. At the Kyiv City State Administration, protesters carrying signs reading “LGBT is a disease, not an orientation, LGBT is propaganda for death” and “Pride is for the benefit of the enemy, LGBT weakens the nation,” demonstrated outside of the building. In the Western city of Lutsk, far-right individuals targeted the office of a left-wing group that placed rainbow flags and other Pride Month decorations in a window. 

1556 1040 Global Project Against Hate and Extremism
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