US warns of risk of anti-LGBTQ+ terrorist attacks during 2024 presidential election

The Department of Homeland Security issued a formal warning indicating that the LGBTQ+ community is at a heightened risk of being targeted by terrorists in the United States.

Two US flags and one progress Pride flag are displayed in front of the White House amid an increase in attacks against LGBTQ+ people in the US.
Image: Twitter @ChrisDJackson

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has warned that LGBTQ+ people are at risk of being targeted by domestic terrorist attacks in the United States during the 2024 presidential election.

The DHS periodically issues terrorism advisory warnings outlining threats from Domestic Violent Extremists in the US. Last November, a senior DHS official told reporters that American extremists pose a “persistent and lethal threat” to LGBTQ+ communities. The most recent DHS bulletin, which runs from May 23 through November 24, states that a heightened threat remains in place.

The DHS warning states that: “Likely targets of potential violence include US critical infrastructure, faith-based institutions, individuals or events associated with the LGBTQIA+ community, schools, racial and ethnic minorities, and government facilities and personnel, including law enforcement.” The warning also includes a list of resources to help LGBTQ+ people recognise threats and stay as safe as possible.

The updated warning was issued after Ron DeSantis, initiator of Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law which bans schools from discussing LGBTQ+ issues and identities, confirmed that he will be running as a Republican candidate in the 2024 presidential election. There is growing concern that his vehemently anti-LGBTQ+ views will continue to spread across the country.

Last month, Equality Florida and the Human Rights Campaign issued a warning for LGBTQ+ people considering visiting or moving to Florida. Regarding the anti-LGBTQ+ climate in Florida, Nadine Smith, the chief executive of Equality Florida, said, “It is heart-breaking to witness families uproot themselves in search of access to healthcare and inclusive classrooms, free from book bans and censorship.”


This year, LGBTQ+ people in the US have faced a surge of attacks, including arson, bomb threats, and physical attacks. Earlier this month, the Human Rights Campaign declared a national state of emergency for LGBTQ+ people in the US after the Proud Boys, a far-right extremist group known for their violent behaviour, shared their plans to target Pride events.

So far in 2023, the US has passed 76 anti-LGBTQ+ laws, more than any other year on record. Every week, states across the US continue to propose new anti-LGBTQ+ bills that attempt to ban trans youth from accessing gender-affirming care, prevent trans girls and women from participating in sports, and legally restrict public drag performances. This climate has led to an increase in LGBTQ+ attacks across the US.

Despite the risks, LGBTQ+ organisations and allies continue to fight back and protest the overwhelming amount of recent anti-trans legislation in the US with powerfully resilient events like drag marches and trans prom.

© 2023 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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