Chasten Buttigieg stunned over new DHS warning lists LGBTQ people as 'targets of potential violence'
At 2:00 PM ET on Wednesday the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security published its latest terrorism threat report, and for the first time LGBTQI+ people were listed as “targets of potential violence,” which DHS warned could be “lethal.” Barely hours later, MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace shared the news with Chasten Buttigieg, who was so stunned for several seconds he was speechless.
“I don’t know, I didn’t see that, and that – that hurts to that hurts to hear,” replied Buttigieg, who is married to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg.
Chasten Buttigieg had been invited to discuss his moving Medium essay, which he explained he wrote in response to Republican Senators on Capitol Hill debating his marriage, and the marriages of hundreds of thousands of same-sex couples, on the floor of the U.S. Senate Tuesday ahead of their vote on legislation to protect same-sex and interracial marriages.
“My marriage has filled this house with so much love it makes me want to be a better husband, father, and citizen every day,” Buttigieg wrote. “It’s called me to something bigger than myself while recognizing that my kids are now the most important thing in life, and I’d do anything to protect them. Our family and our union push me to make sure we leave our kids a country and a world they can thrive in so that they, too, can enjoy all of the love and light and happiness that Pete and I have known simply by falling in love with one another.”
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Wallace, during their interview, sprung the news on Buttigieg that LGBTQIA+ people are now potential targets of domestic terrorism.
“Chasten, the Department of Homeland Security issued a bulletin warning about threats to the LGBTQ community specifically, and obviously there is – in addition to rhetoric and hate speech, much of it showcased on conservative media outlets – you’ve also got the Senate Republican Leader who didn’t vote for this bill,” she noted, referring to the Respect for Marriage Act that passed the Senate in a 61-36 vote on Tuesday.
“I mean, what is what makes that threat so pervasive,” Wallace asked, “that DHS had to issue a warning to local law enforcement yesterday in your view?” (The warning was issued Wednesday, not Tuesday.)
“I don’t know, I didn’t see that, and that – that hurts to that hurts to hear,” he replied seconds later.
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“Again, this is already a vulnerable community. Focusing and targeting on an already vulnerable community that – by the way, just wants to live,” Buttigieg explained. “They just want to survive and exist in a country that sees them for who they are and go about their lives just the way everybody else is, especially trans Americans.”
“Honing in on an already vulnerable community and picking on them and attacking them, many people who just want to go about their lives and exist freely and openly and safely just like every other American.”
The Dept. of Homeland Security on Wednesday published the new “Summary of Terrorism Threat to the United States,” which states: “Targets of potential violence include public gatherings, faith-based institutions, the LGBTQI+ community, schools, racial and religious minorities, government facilities and personnel, U.S. critical infrastructure, the media, and perceived ideological opponents.”
As Buttigieg’s response shows, learning you are now considered a “target of potential violence” can be stunning.
The Terrorism Threat Summary warns the United States “remains in a heightened threat environment.”
“Lone offenders and small groups,” DHS adds, “motivated by a range of ideological beliefs and/or personal grievances continue to pose a persistent and lethal threat to the Homeland.”
The tone of the law enforcement language is chilling.
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“Domestic actors and foreign terrorist organizations continue to maintain a visible presence online in attempts to motivate supporters to conduct attacks in the Homeland. Threat actors have recently mobilized to violence, citing factors such as reactions to current events and adherence to violent extremist ideologies.”
DHS warns that “threat actors could exploit several upcoming events to justify or commit acts of violence, including certifications related to the midterm elections, the holiday season and associated large gatherings, the marking of two years since the breach of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, and potential sociopolitical developments connected to ideological beliefs or personal hostility.”
“Targets of potential violence include public gatherings, faith-based institutions, the LGBTQI+ community, schools, racial and religious minorities, government facilities and personnel, U.S. critical infrastructure, the media, and perceived ideological opponents.”
“Some domestic violent extremists who have conducted attacks have cited previous attacks and attackers as inspiration,” the bulletin goes on to warn. “Following the late November shooting at an LGBTQI+ bar in Colorado Springs, Colorado—which remains under investigation—we have observed actors on forums known to post racially or ethnically motivated violent extremist content praising the alleged attacker.”
Watch Chasten Buttigieg’s interview with Nicolle Wallace below or at this link.
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