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California state Sen. Scott Wiener, a gay man and outspoken advocate for LGBTQ+ rights, was the target of a death threat Tuesday, one of many he says he's received since taking office in 2017, and he's blaming it on homophobic rhetoric.
The threat came Tuesday morning to a newspaper, The San Francisco Standard. A person using the name Zamina Tataro emailed the paper and said they had planted bombs at Wiener's home in San Francisco and would start shooting at his office in Sacramento. The subject line read "Scott Wiener will die today," and the writer said they were willing to die. The email called him a pedophile and a groomer.
The Standard notified police and Wiener. Police searched Wiener's home and found no bombs.
Wiener released this statement Tuesday:
"Early this morning, I was informed by the San Francisco Standard and the police that someone had issued a bomb threat against me, listing my specific home address and also threatening to shoot up my Capitol office. The email said 'we will fucking kill you' and called me a pedophile and groomer.
"This latest wave of death threats against me relates to my work to end discrimination against LGBTQ people in the criminal justice system and my work to ensure the safety of transgender children and their families. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and MAGA activist Charlie Kirk recently tweeted homophobic lies about me, falsely accusing me of supporting pedophiles and child 'mutilation.'
"The extreme homophobic and transphobic rhetoric that has escalated on social media and right-wing media outlets has real world impacts. It leads to harassment, stalking, threats, and violence against our community. People are dying as a result. Responsible political leaders on the right must call it out and stop tolerating it.
"I will always fight for the LGBTQ community -- and for the community as a whole -- and will never let these threats stop that work."
In September, a California jury convicted Erik Triana of making death threats to Wiener over a bill the senator introduced earlier in the year to allow some teenagers to receive the COVID-19 vaccine without parental permission. Triana had emailed Wiener and told him to "expect a visit from me and my rifle."
Also in September, Wiener was subjected to death threats as well as homophobic and anti-Semitic slurs over legislation he introduced to reform the California sex offender law to treat gay and straight sex equally. In June, someone claimed to have placed bombs at his home and office.
The tweets by Greene and Kirk came after Wiener's sponsorship of a bill to make California a state of refuge for trans children who come from other states to receive gender-affirming care, and for their parents as well. It has passed and been signed into law, going into effect in January. Greene called Wiener a "communist groomer," and Kirk said the senator was in favor of "mutilating children."
"A lot of times people dismiss what is said online as just rhetoric, but the reality is there is an entire right-wing conspiracy theory machine that puts out conspiracies about progressives and those conspiracy theories get dramatically amplified and eventually somebody does something about it," Wiener told the Standard.
Someone using the Tataro name had also made bomb threats to Boston Children's Hospital over gender-affirming care and to a high school in Canada over a trans teacher.