Survivors of last month’s mass shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colo., and a survivor of the 2016 massacre at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Fla., are set to testify before the House Oversight Committee this Wednesday.
The hearing is slated to address the escalating violence and threats against LGBTQ people, which led to the Club Q violence and other acts of violence and threats across the country.
U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), who chairs the committee, told NBC News; “Make no mistake, the rise in anti-LGBTQI+ extremism and the despicable policies that Republicans at every level of government are advancing to attack the health and safety of LGBTQI+ people are harming the LGBTQI+ community and contributing to tragedies like what we saw at Club Q.”
Scheduled to appear before the committee are Club Q co-owner Matthew Haynes, bartender Michael Anderson and James Slaugh. Also testifying before the committee is Equality Florida Press Secretary and Pulse survivor Brandon Wolf.
Slaugh, his partner and his sister Charlene, were all wounded in the Club Q attack. Charlene was shot in the abdomen while her brother was shot in the shoulder and his partner was shot in the leg. Slaugh and his partner met at Club Q and always considered it a safe space he told media outlets last month.
The hearing comes in response to a national onslaught of anti-LGBTQ rhetoric from right wing politicians and groups, the torrent of anti-LGBTQ policies being passed across the country, escalating bomb threats against children’s hospitals that provide gender-affirming care for transgender youth, a domestic terror attack on a North Carolina power grid that was immediately celebrated by anti-LGBTQ extremists, a U.S. Department of Homeland Security terror warning issued regarding increased threats against the LGBTQ community, and the deadly shooting at Club Q, in which the shooter has been charged with more than 305 counts of hate-motivated crimes.
This will likely be the last hearing by the committee to address this issue before the Republican take over of the U.S. House of Representatives next month.