Gay bars targeted with ‘Liberty Gun Beer Trump’ hate mail
Multiple gay bars in Tennessee have received “hateful” flyers this month.
At least four LGBT+ establishments in Nashville were mailed the image, which replaces the words in the LGBT acronym with new, confrontational meanings, according to local news channel WTVF.
Instead of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, the leaflets have pictures of the State of Liberty, an assault rifle, a beer bottle and President Donald Trump above their corresponding letters—in short, liberty, guns, beer and Trump.
The back of the flyer featured a ‘MAGA’ stamp, seemingly indicating the sender’s support for Trump and his 2016 presidential campaign slogan, “Make American Great Again.”
The assault rifle on the flier resembled one of the two weapons that were used by Omar Mateen in the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub, a gay venue in Orlando, Florida, where 49 people were killed in 2016.
Melvin Brown, owner of Stirrup Sports Bar in south Nashville, said that this connection was not lost on him.
“When you put a picture of an assault rifle on there which was used in the Pulse shooting and you mail it to every LGBT bar in Nashville, that is coming from a hateful place,” he told the local news channel.
“To say that it’s disturbing is an understatement,” he added.
Brown thought the national elections in November, which could see either or both of the US House of Representatives and Senate end up controlled by the Democratic Party, were a motivating factor behind the message.
“The mid-terms are right around the corner and I think somebody is trying to incite a reaction,” he said.
On Facebook, Brown’s bar added: “Elections matter and this is a perfect example of why.
“We can’t stop cowards from hiding behind nameless postcards but we can vote people into office who believe we are equal to all. Vote! Vote! Vote!”
Tennessee has only had Republican Senators since 1995, and has a political climate in which last year, the state’s government passed Public Chapter Number 302, a law which LGBT+ advocates said was a move to delegitimise same-sex couples.
The legislation requires judges to interpret laws in their “natural and ordinary meaning,” restricting the ability of judges to include queer couples in laws which refer to a husband and wife, for example.
And earlier this year, an attempt to pass a resolution condemning neo-Nazis and white nationalists in the state’s House of Representatives was killed off in less than a minute.
Pop star Taylor Swift broke her political silence earlier this month to speak out against Tennessee’s Republican candidate for the Senate in the midterms, Marsha Blackburn, who is anti-same-sex marriage and believes businesses have a right to refuse service to same-sex couples.
Swift said that Blackburn’s “voting record in Congress appals and terrifies me,” adding that she was endorsing Democratic candidate Phil Bredesen for the seat, which will be vacated by Bob Corker in January.
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