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Rep. Katie Porter Says The Term ‘Pedophile’ Brands Someone A Criminal Because Of Their Sexual Orientation

 Democratic California Rep. Katie Porter said Wednesday during a Congressional hearing on anti-LGBTQ violence that the term “pedophile” brands people as criminals because of their “sexual orientation.”

Survivors of the Club Q shooting, activists and others testified Wednesday about anti-LGBTQ violence before the House Oversight and Reform Committee.

Porter said the phrase “groomer” is a “lie” used to position members of the LGBTQ community as a “threat.”

“It denies them access to public spaces,” Porter said, before asking one witness whether Twitter allows posts calling people “groomers.” 

Human Rights Campaign (HRC) president Kelley Robinson said Twitter does not allow users to call people “groomers” but claimed Twitter doesn’t enforce the ban. Robinson then said phrases like “groomers and pedophiles” are used “to describe people … that are mothers and fathers … It is dangerous.”

Robinson then argued the phrases are meant to “dehumanize.”

“You know, 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.”

Porter then said that Twitter allowed the terms to circulate online, reaching “72 million users.”

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