DENVER (KDVR) — Survivors of the Club Q mass shooting will testify Wednesday in a congressional committee hearing focused on the rise in anti-LGBTQ extremism and violence.
Michael Anderson and James Slaugh, survivors of the Club Q shooting, will testify, along with the club’s founding owner, Matthew Haynes. The full House Committee on Oversight and Reform hearing will stream online and is set for 8 a.m. MT.
The hearing comes as Republicans continue to advance policies around the country that impact LGBTQ communities, especially in classroom and healthcare settings, said Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney, the U.S. representative from New York City.
According to Maloney, 340 pieces of anti-LGBTQ legislation were introduced in the states in 2021 alone. She said in a news release that the rise in extremist anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and policies are “contributing to tragedies like what we saw at Club Q.”
The hearing will also include Brandon Wolf, who survived the Pulse nightclub shooting, along with policy experts and advocates for human rights, transgender equality and young people.
Colorado sees rising anti-LGBTQ crimes
Colorado is seeing a pronounced rise in the number of hate crimes, particularly when it comes to anti-LGBTQ bias, the FOX31 Data Desk has found. After nearly a decade of falling hate crime numbers, Colorado experienced a swing in reported hate crimes beginning in 2019.
Hate crimes have now been at record highs in Colorado for two years in a row.
There were more hate crimes on record in 2021 than any year in Colorado history — 370 overall. By late November, there had been 325 in 2022, making this the third worst year on record for Colorado hate crimes.
Bias against sexual orientation is the second-highest driver of hate crimes in Colorado — about 17% of the state’s hate crimes in any given year.