The very real potential for the Don’t Say Gay bill in Florida (and now copycat bills starting to pop up across America to negatively impact children is already well-documented, but now we are starting to see the bigotry and hate behind these bills directly impacting children of loving same sex families directly. Robbie Pierce and his husband Neal Broverman were on Amtrak recently, traveling via train (from Los Angeles, CA to Oakland, CA) and a man sitting across from the couple and their two young children suddenly brought gave this family a first class lesson in bigotry. Pierce told NBC News that the man started screaming directly at his six year old child, wildly screaming “Remember what I told you!” Pierce recollected, as the man continued, “Marriage is between a man and a woman. They stole you, and they’re pedophiles”.
While Pierce and Broverman instantly stood up between the man and the children to protect their family, the man continued ranting saying “That’s not a family! You’re rapists and pedophiles. You steal Black and Asian children and you rape them,” (Pierce and Broverman have an adopted son who is African American, and a five year old foster daughter, who is Asian-American). While Pierce and Broverman did state that this was not the first time hate had been directly squarely at their family, this was in fact, the first time that the vitriol was tinged with verbiage from a particular right wing network, pundits, or ultra-conservative legislators. “As soon as he started saying ‘pedophiles’ and things like that, I thought he just seemed like he came preloaded with these statements,” Pierce went on to say. “So, I thought, ‘Ugh, OK, we’re dealing with someone who’s consuming right-wing media.”
Amtrak released a statement in the days following the incident stating the company “strongly condemns this reprehensible act of hate” and that it was “conducting a full investigation on this incident.” They went on to say that they are looking into potentially banning the unidentified man from Amtrak. As for Pierce, his final statement to NBC News speaks volumes, both as an out and proud gay man in America today, and more so as a parent; “I’m done letting these people pretend that they care about protecting children or not harming them, because this rhetoric is directly harming my children,” Pierce added. “So, if you want to talk about who’s endangering children, it’s anybody who’s sharing these lies.”
Well that didn't take long. We decided to take a trip on Amtrak with the kids for spring break. 9 hours into a pleasant ride, a man was suddenly standing next to me, shouting across me at my 6yo son, "Remember what I told you. They stole you. They're pedophiles." 🧵
— Opals and Bonobos (@Robbiepierce) April 13, 2022
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