Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) complained on Wednesday that terms like "pedophile" and "groomer" are rooted in bigotry that discriminates against LGBT "sexual orientation" and "gender identity."
The shocking comments came during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing that featured testimony from survivors of last month's mass attack at Club Q, an LGBT nightclub in Colorado Springs.
Porter denounced using "groomer" and "pedophile" pejoratively because, she claimed, the words foment hate and dehumanize LGBT-identifying persons.
"This allegation of ‘groomer’ and ‘pedophile' it is alleging that a person is criminal somehow and engaged in criminal acts merely because of their gender identity, their sexual orientation, their gender identity," she said.
Porter's eyebrow-raising remarks were made in response to Human Rights Campaign president Kelley Robinson, who condemned Twitter and other social media platforms for not aggressively removing alleged hate speech like the words "groomer" and "pedophile."
"It's about holding users accountable to those guidelines and acknowledging that when we use phrases and words like 'groomer' and 'pedophile' to describe people — individuals in our communities that are mothers, fathers, that are teachers, doctors — it is dangerous," Robinson claimed.
"It's got one purpose: to dehumanize us and to make us feel like we're not a part of this American society," Robinson continued. "It has real-life consequences."
What is their gripe?
Using the word "groomer" is a problem, Porter contended, because "the 'groomer' narrative is an age-old lie" that "positions LGBTQ+ people as a threat to kids."
"What is does is deny them access to public spaces, it stokes fear, and it can even stoke violence," Porter claimed.
That explanation, however, does not explain how the semantic import of either word stokes hatred or fear like they claim.
In this context, a "groomer" is someone who builds a relationship with children to later exploit them, often sexually, while a "pedophile" is someone who is sexually attracted to children. Sexualizing children is morally reprehensible, and sexually abusing children is, of course, illegal.
The term "groomer," though, now often describes people who want to impress upon young children an ultra-progressive ideology of sex and gender, even if their parents disagree.
Porter did not provide any evidence of violence incited by the usage of "groomer" or "pedophile."
Club Q shooting survivors testify in house hearing on violence against LGBTQ+ people – watch liveyoutu.be