June 14, 2017 at 12:27 pm EDT | by Chris Johnson
Rep. Scalise among victims in Va. shooting

Rep. Steve Scalise was shot Wednesday. (Photo by Gage Skidmore; courtesy Flickr)

The high-profile victim in a shooting Wednesday at a congressional baseball practice in Alexandria has a long anti-LGBT history — and LGBT groups are among those condemning the violence against him.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) was taking part in practice as a member of the Republican congressional baseball team when he was shot in the hip. He was taken to MedStar Washington Hospital Center. Scalise was in stable condition.

Others who were shot at the practice were Capitol Police officers. Although they were wounded, their injuries weren’t life threatening, according to the Associated Press. The shooter was killed by police.

A former chair of the conservative House Republican Study Committee, Scalise has built over the course of his tenure in Congress since 2008 among the most anti-LGBT reputations of any lawmaker.

Earning a “0” on the Human Rights Campaign’s congressional scorecard, Scalise voted against “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal and hate crimes protection legislation. In the last Congress, Scalise was among the 130 co-sponsors of the First Amendment Defense Act, a federal “religious freedom” bill seen to enable anti-LGBT discrimination.

As a member of House Republican leadership, he’s responsible for the lack of votes on pro-LGBT legislation on the House floor. When Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) introduced an amendment upholding President Obama’s 2014 executive order against anti-LGBT workplace discrimination, Scalise was reportedly among House leaders who convinced seven Republicans to switch their votes to ensure the measure would fail.

When a federal judge upheld Louisiana’s ban on same-sex marriage as constitutional in 2014, Scalise hailed the decision during an appearance on the anti-LGBT Family Research Council’s radio program as “an important win for marriage.”

Scalise has also faced charges of racism that nearly derailed his election as House majority whip. The lawmaker once spoke at a meeting of the European-American Unity and Rights Organization, founded by Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke.

Despite Scalise’s history, LGBT groups and advocates were among those issuing statements condemning the violence against him.

Roddy Flynn, executive director of the LGBT Equality Caucus, said “our thoughts and prayers are with Whip Scalise and all of those injured in this senseless shooting.”

“The tradition of congressional baseball is a lighthearted custom that brings the parties together in friendship,” Flynn said. “For this gunman to target members of Congress and staff preparing for this charitable event is a particularly insidious attack on the very institution.”

Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin also expressed solidarity with the victims in a statement.

“We stand in solidarity and unity with those injured in this horrific attack and hope for their speedy recovery,” Griffin said. “We condemn all forms of violence, and moments like these remind us of the need to work together in finding commonsense solutions to gun violence, hate-motivated violence, and terrorism. The swift response of the U.S. Capitol Police and first responders is testament to their selfless service to our nation.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a statement the shooting was a “despicable and cowardly attack” on members of Congress.

“My thoughts and prayers are with Whip Steve Scalise and the others wounded, Capitol Police and staff, and their families,” Pelosi added.

The suspected shooter in the incident was identified as Illinois resident James T. Hodgkinson. Capitol Hill forces shot him as he was firing on the grounds and he was taken to the hospital. In a statement at the White House after the shooting, President Trump broke the news Hodgkinson “has now died from his injuries.”

Jason Lindsay, executive director of Pride Fund to End Gun Violence, said in a statement the shooting is “another reminder that no one is safe when access to guns is so easy.”

“We’re heartbroken and horrified for those involved as well as the community as a whole,” Lindsay said. “And while details are still coming together and the motive of the shooter is unclear, this incident is yet another illustration of the need for common sense gun reforms. This shooting comes just two days after our nation reflected on the one year mark of the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando that killed 49 people, injured 53, and emotionally scarred countless others.”

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

  • Don Davenport

    Does the Washington Blade feel somewhat responsible for this attack. You all spew so much anti-Republican/anti-Trump hate on a weekly basis. This kind of “journalism” is divisive and can only encourage violence and hatred.

    • lnm3921

      Like you spew anything good about Dems or Liberals? Who do you think you care scamming? You like Trump just want filtered news that ignore your failures and crimes to dupe the masses into giving you unconditional support! Those of us that can think for ourselves see through you! All Trump does is fuel hatred, lies, deception and obnoxiousness! Everyone is to blame but himself!

      You’re responsible then for the attack on Gabby Giffords and the attack at the Pizzeria in DC by right-wing loons who support Trump thanks to your fake news reports and anti-liberal/Anti-Hillary/Anti-Obama rhetoric! You’re a fear-monger trying to scare people with Muslim boogey men to really behind Trump!

      Your endless BS encourages what you hypocritically condemn!
      Go peddle your propaganda to push your agenda with the fools that voted for Trump! We know better!

      • Jacob

        Gaby Giffords was shot by a radical leftist who was a registered democrat.

        And who did the guy at the dc pizzeria shoot? Nobody.

        • lnm3921

          For a Radical leftist he had severe right-wing rants on his website before his attack!

          The point is the guy in DC attempted a shooting and was right-wing. Does someone have to kill to be a threat or a concern? How many of you wackos tried to get into the White House while Obama was in office?! Many are on record!

  • Thisoldspouse

    Of course they’re “publicly” condemning the attack. The GerBiLs are immoral but not stupid.

  • Thisoldspouse

    Predictably, the “guns bad” drumbeat began sounding from the usual suspects immediately after this news hit the airwaves.

    I’d like for these gun-owner control advocates to detail exactly WHICH restrictions they would advocate that would have prevented this particular incident, other than a complete ban of the 2nd Amendment. (I think I guessed it.)

    • lnm3921

      Well obviously having the right to bear arms didn’t save these Republicans did it? So much for the argument that having the right to a gun allows you to defend yourself. They ran like rabbits!

      • Count Dracula

        Of course it did nut licker. The leftist shooter was shot dead before he killed anyone.

        What’s bigger, your azz or s mayonnaise jar?

        • lnm3921

          Your mouth should be as tight as your crusty hole is you dirty old toilet wipe!

  • Count Dracula

    If anyone on our side is considering doing the same thing, please be sure to target democrats in states with republican governors. May as well kill two birds with one stone.

    • lnm3921

      La honni soit qui mal y pense!

      You already targeted Democrats when you attacked and shot Gabby Giffords. You have blood on your hands! You people love guns but you went running like rabbits the moment someone gave you some of your own medicine this time you sick SOB!

      So much for you people telling us gun ownership prevents crimes!

      • Jacob

        The person who shot Gaby Giffords (a rep from my state) was a registered democrat and posted previously on Facebook about how angry he was that she wasn’t left of center enough. Lol

        • lnm3921

          Yet his website rantings before he attacked were very right-wing. That you conveniently left out!

          Isn’t Trump’s boy Flynn a registered Dem, too yet an ardent Trump supporter and Hillary basher!

          DINOS (Democrats in Name Only) don’t count as such!

      • Count Dracula

        So “Inm” is short for “in him” right butt plug?

        What’s the 3921 for?

        • lnm3921

          So DRACULA stands for:
          D = irty
          R = otten
          A = hole
          C = onservative
          U =gly
          L = oser
          A = sswipe

          Describes you well!

  • Nate

    The Anti Gay Republican, was shot by a Pro Gay dead Liberal Sanders supporter. What’s your point!

    • lnm3921

      The point is Karma is going to get YOU!!

      As for whether he was pro-gay or not, what difference does it make? You have no point other than the one on top of your head!

  • Brian’s Ions

    beget
    verb | be·get | bi-ˈget, bē-
    : to produce especially as an effect or outgrowth
    “Violence only begets more violence.”

    Incivility, extreme rhetoric *AND policy-making that furthers violence and death* ALL contribute to a national culture that encourages ever more violence and suicidal mass killers.
    —————–
    \Earning a “0” on the Human Rights Campaign’s congressional scorecard, Scalise voted against “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal and hate crimes protection legislation. In the last Congress, Scalise was among the 130 co-sponsors of the First Amendment Defense Act, a federal “religious freedom” bill seen to enable anti-LGBT discrimination

    When a federal judge upheld Louisiana’s ban on same-sex marriage as constitutional in 2014, Scalise hailed the decision during an appearance on the anti-LGBT Family Research Council’s radio program as “an important win for marriage.”

    Scalise has also faced charges of racism that nearly derailed his election as House majority whip. The lawmaker once spoke at a meeting of the European-American Unity and Rights Organization, founded by Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke.//
    .

    • bill

      So, in your depraved and despicable mind you are clearly justifying the attempted assassinations. You and your type aid and abet then excuse heinous and illegal plots such as this miscreant’s. Must be a very dark and warped place you reside under.
      You show that you believe that anyone with a different opinion or decision is only deserving of a death sentence.
      Proving how very tolerant you and your leftist/communist idolizers are.
      Your post should just say: “Reasons this was a justifiable and approved assassination attempt.This message approved for all warped zealots by Brian’s Loins”.
      Sickness has no end.

      • patroklos

        You’re certainly doing nothing to seek middle ground nor to tone down the rhetoric, bill, by twisting Brian’s words.

        How can you claim to be an advocate against the kind of polarization that might lead to violence, if at the same time you are fomenting the polarizing discourse?

© Copyright Brown, Naff, Pitts Omnimedia, Inc. 2017. All rights reserved.