Florida Republican State Representative Jeff Holcomb has caused controversy with remarks made in the state's House, in which he appeared to express support for terrorist organizations and hatred towards the LGBTQ+ community.
During the speech, Holcomb urged his colleagues to vote in favor of a bill calling on Congress to "restore" the military's "warfighting ethos" and remove "woke social engineering and experimentation practices."
Holcomb went on to claim groups such as ISIS, the Taliban and Al-Qaeda were responsible for discrimination against gay people, and the military should prioritize fighting these groups rather than engaging in what he called "woke" initiatives. He then said terrorists "hate homosexuals more than we do," a statement that caused his colleague Kelly Skidmore's jaw to drop.
You can hear what Holcomb said and see Skidmore's reaction in the video below.
"ISIS, the Taliban, and Al-Qaeda. Those are the folks that discriminate. We bombed a building in 2017 like we never usually do. We bombed it because they threw homosexuals off that building. Our terrorist enemies hate homosexuals more than we do."
"They’re the ones that discriminate. Our job in the military, our Navy creed, 'I am committed to excellence and fair treatment of all,' that’s what we learned in boot camp, that’s what we drill into ourselves each and every day while we’re in boot camp. Please vote up on this bill."
Skidmore recoiled visibly, and the chamber was filled with gasps and disturbed looks from many members.
The remarks have sparked widespread condemnation, with many arguing that Holcomb's statements were deeply offensive and could put LGBTQ+ people at risk.
Many couldn't help but remark on Skidmore's clear disgust.
Holcomb's statements reflect a broader trend towards anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment among conservative politicians, both in Florida and across the country.
Last month, Holcomb's colleague Randy Fine sparked outrage after suggesting the whole LGBTQ+ community should be "erased" if they continue to "target children."
Advocates have urged people to condemn these actions and show support for marginalized communities amid a wave of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in red states, much of it explicitly targeting the transgender community and their ability to receive gender affirming medical care.