At a recent gathering of Trump supporters in the Oregon capital of Salem, one man with a megaphone accused LGBTQ people of normalizing child rape and suggested that politicians who support LGBTQ rights should be assassinated. People cheered and clapped after he said this.
“We have said all this LGBT agenda has set us back... They told us we were crazy. They told us we were homophobic. But the God’s honest truth is their pedophile agenda has been normalized. It is being pushed forward. I’m a goddamn man, but I think these Democratic leaders who allowed this to happen need to be shot dead in the streets.”
While his rantings might sound the ravings of a paranoiac, he's merely echoing beliefs of the ever-growing QAnon conspiracy theory. QAnon believes that Republican President Donald Trump is working to uncover an international pedophilia ring run by Democratic political leaders, "Deep State" operatives, liberal celebrities and other powerful people.
QAnon has also compelled at least one believer to shoot up a gay-owned business. In December 2016, Washington D.C. police arrested 28-year-old Edgar Maddison Welch after he entered the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria — a business owned by gay owner James Alefantis — with an assault rifle and fired at least one shot.
Welch went to “self-investigate” unfounded rumors that the non-existent basement of Comet Ping Pong was a venue in a child molestation ring involving Hillary Clinton. As such, Welch's actions were just the modern iteration of a long, hateful history of anti-gay bigots linking homosexuality with child molestation.
Now that history has linked up with a modern-day conspiracy theory, and the Republican party is increasingly inviting QAnon believers into their ranks as they court voters and support political candidates who openly equate progressive rights with child rape.
Curiously, QAnon supporters don't seem to speak much about the Catholic Church's long history of child sex abuse.