Progress Iowa Executive Director Matt Sinovic issued the following statement in response to a shooting that killed five people at a Colorado Springs LGBTQ nightclub:
“No matter where we’re from or who we love, we all deserve to feel safe in our communities. Today we mourn those killed in yet another senseless act of violence and call on hateful political rhetoric to stop.
“For years, Republicans have not only refused to act, they have embraced hateful agendas and language that increase space for hate in our communities. Their words matter, and make it more likely that attacks will happen. The words our leaders choose matters. Especially when those words mean we can’t go to school, the grocery store or out with our friends without the fear of getting shot.
“Most Americans and a majority of Iowans support regulations on firearms. A 2022 Public Policy Polling survey in Iowa shows Iowans support common sense gun safety regulations like background checks and requiring gun safety courses before purchasing a handgun. Yet, Republican lawmakers continue to put the corporate interests of the NRA over innocent lives by blocking important gun safety legislation.
“Unfortunately, it’s not just the ease of acquiring a firearm that makes these types of incidents so common. It’s also due to the GOP’s war on transgender and LGBTQ individuals. We heard rhetoric that targeted the LGBTQ community repeatedly at the Iowa Statehouse earlier this year and Gov. Kim Reynolds’ used anti-trans language in her own campaign ad. Her rhetoric breeds further hate, and contributes to an environment where we will continue to see violent attacks against the LGBTQ community.
“Our lawmakers must end the attacks on the LGBTQ community. We must demand more protections for our LGBTQ friends, family and neighbors or the violence will continue.”