Republican lawmakers join Gays Against Groomers march

Wisconsin lawmakers

A trio of Wisconsin Republican lawmakers joined a rally organised by right-wing, anti-trans group Gays Against Groomers.

On Saturday (28 October), Wisconsin representatives, John Macco, Nate Gustafson, and Joy Goeben joined a demonstration organised by the group at Lambeau Field in Green Bay. 

Gays Against Groomers is a right-wing American anti-LGBTQ+ organisation which pushes the false conspiracy that trans people and allies are “groomers” aiming to indoctrinate children into the LGBTQIA+ umbrella.

Gays Against Groomers thanked the three Republican lawmakers for attending in a post on social media.

The event, part of the group’s “Worldwide Stop the War on Children Rally”, saw only around a dozen attendees join, but it garnered attention for its hateful signage, as reported by Heartland Signal. 

Signs claimed that LGBTQ+ activists coordinated child abuse, while others advocated for Assembly Bill 465 to ban gender-affirming care for minors, prohibiting gender transition medical intervention for individuals under 18 years of age.

You may like to watch

Democrat governor Tony Evers has vowed to veto Bill 465 and other anti-trans bills including bills AB 377 and 378 which aim to restrict trans athletes from participating in sports teams aligned with their gender identity.

In October, Evers told his constituents: “You’ve got my support on all of these. We’re gonna veto every single one of them,” he told his constituents.” 

In September the group, which has been labelled “one of the most notable propagators of anti-trans rhetoric” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, saw the leader of its Wisconsin chapter given a restraining order by request from the Pulaski School District, following accusations of harassment. 

A Brown County circuit court commissioner granted a temporary restraining order against Wisconsin Gays Against Groomers leader Jose “Rocky” Rodriguez, on 29 September. On 13 October the district was granted a four-year restraining order against the leader. 

The group’s national founder, Jaimee Michell, previously served on the advisory board of Donald Trump’s “Trump Pride” coalition and has worked with a number of notoriously anti-LGBTQ+ movements.

In a report published in September, Media Matters for America criticised Mark Zuckerberg’s company, Meta, for failing to crack down on the anti-trans group on Facebook, Instagram and Threads. 

The report claims that Gays Against Groomers continues to thrive on Meta platforms despite appearing to violate user policies by posting misinformation about trans people and spreading the anti-LGBTQ“groomer” slur and conspiracy theory.