Did GOP Pol Suggest LGBTQ Violence is the 'Normal Consequences' of a 'Lifestyle Choice?'

Monday November 22, 2021
Originally published on November 22, 2021

A GOP lawmaker from Montana is being called upon to clarify a statement she made that some believed condone violence against LGBTs, "and, if necessary, retracted, her gay colleagues at the Legislature said Friday," the Missoula Current reports.

Last Wednesday Theresa Manzella, the Republican state senator from Hamilton, spoke at a "God, Country, Family" rally where she said: "Now, they like to play the protected class card and they're the minority and they're discriminated against and they're scared to walk down the street hand in hand... I've got to tell you, I think those are normal consequences associated with the choices they made."

"Sen. Manzella's remarks are nothing short of offensive, dangerous and unacceptable," House Minority Leader Kim Abbott, D-Helena, and Senate Minority Leader Jill Cohenour, D-East Helena, wrote in a letter sent to Senate President Mark Blasdel, R-Kalispell, reports the Helena Independent Record.

They continued, "LGBTQ Montanans have always been valued members of our communities, and they deserve the basic dignity and respect owed to everyone in our state — the most basic of which is to be able to live their lives without fear of violence."

"But Sen. Theresa Manzella, R-Hamilton, told MTN News that her statement at a Wednesday night rally in Clinton was reported out of context, and that she wasn't condoning or encouraging violence against gay Montanans."

"I did not say anything about violence or hate," she said.

Manzella did not dispute the statement, but told MTN News she was referring to fears she'd heard expressed by a gay person, and that those fears are something they chose to have — not that they should expect a violent reaction.

She made her comments at a "God, Country, Family" rally this past Wednesday. "The stop in Clinton focused on 'the LGBTQ agenda,' and speakers lined up to express support for Clinton Community Church's lead pastor, Brandon Huber," reports KPVI 6 News.

"Earlier this summer, the church terminated its relationship with the Missoula Food Bank for its free lunch program after Huber discovered 'pride' themed inserts in the sack lunches, saying they were 'contrary to the church's teachings.' The church started its own community lunch program."