June 12, 2022

GLAAD, the world's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, is responding to the arrest of 31 people accused of conspiracy to riot against a Pride event in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

Those arrested are reportedly affiliated with Patriot Front, described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a white nationalist hate group, and are from states across the country including Virginia, Arkansas, South Dakota, Texas, Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming. The group was reportedly heading for Coeur d’Alene City Park, where the North Idaho Pride Alliance was hosting its Pride in the Park event yesterday.

Photos and videos show the suspects were in a moving truck, wearing hats, sunglasses, white full face masks, Patriot Front’s signature khaki pants and carrying riot shields.

GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis responded on Twitter, and here:
“Lawmakers and Governors like DeSantis and Abbott, along with their co-conspirators at Fox News, better pause today and recognize that their anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and the nearly 250 anti-LGBTQ bills introduced this year are responsible for this dangerous climate. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and social media platforms must also take responsibility and urgently stop fueling the hate and misinformation that inspire white supremacist groups like the Patriot Front. This group was stopped this weekend in Idaho before violence occurred thanks to the critical work of local authorities, but we might not be so lucky the next time one of the growing number of groups like this plan to swarm a LGBTQ location. Today as we mark the sixth remembrance of the 49 beautiful and innocent lives lost at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, we have to stop the shameful anti-LGBTQ laws, misinformation, and rhetoric that make America unsafe for LGBTQ and other marginalized communities. Corporations, media, politicians, have to act now, not send thoughts and prayers in the future.”