Bob Weir: Homophobes, ISIS Supporters Share ‘Same Hatred’
Following the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir drew parallels Sunday between the anti-LGBT rhetoric of radical members of the Republican party and the language of terrorist groups like ISIS.
Weir issued his remarks at this weekend’s Bonnaroo Festival, where he accepted the Les Paul Spirit Award for Innovation and Achievement. “As we know, there was a massacre in Florida, not far from here,” the famous guitarist said towards the end of his acceptance speech. “I’d like to point out that last week, a distinguished representative from the State of Georgia went on the floor of the House of Representatives of our country and started quoting Bible verses in which he basically promoted, or at least rationalized, death to gay people as a reward for the way they were born.”
Weir was referring to an incident that took place on the House floor at the end of May, when Georgia Rep. Rick W. Allen reportedly read from Romans 1:18-32 and Revelations 22:18-19. These passages include lines suggesting that LGBT people are “worthy of death.” The reading drew a rebuke from the Human Rights Campaign. “At a time when LGBT people face staggering rates of discrimination, harassment and violence, Representative Allen’s comments spread hate that does real harm,” HRC Senior Vice President of Policy and Political Affairs JoDee Winterhof said in a statement.
Speaking at Bonnaroo, Weir also brought up a since-deleted tweet from the lieutenant governor of Texas quoting Galatians 6:7. “This morning, the lieutenant governor of Texas said that, ‘Well, they’re reaping what they’ve sown,’” Weir said. “Now, I wanna ask a question: how different are these peoples’ worldviews from the worldviews of the people with ISIS? It’s the same hatred. They pull those hatreds out of different books, but it’s the same hatred and I’d just like to point that out.”
In a short address on Sunday, President Obama called the Orlando massacre ”an act of terror and an act of hate. “As Americans,” he continued, “we are united in grief and in outrage, and in resolve to defend our people.”