Democrat Erik Bottcher, a gay New York City Council Member, called out his Republican colleague Vickie Paladino after she called LGBTQ+ people "groomers."
Paladino's rhetoric offers further examples of the ongoing "groomer" hysteria accusing LGBTQ+ people of building relationships, trust, and emotional connections with children so they can manipulate, exploit and abuse them.
The controversy erupted last week, after Paladino waded into the recent conservative uproar about drag queens performing for kids, calling it not just "unacceptable and grotesque" but indicative of "a deeply disturbing national pattern."
Paladino said she would reconsider allocating "funding for district schools for repairs, upgrades, and new programs" if they are "found to have participated in these activities."
She then directed a wider attack against progressives, accusing them of having "no problem with child grooming and sexualization" and stressed her own commitment to ensuring that children receive "a quality education free of political manipulation and sexual content."
Paladino's remarks angered Bottcher, who during a city council meeting took her to task for her rhetoric, saying:
“I cannot think of a more nauseating term than the term ‘groomer.' That’s what child molesters do. They cultivate trust with someone they’re about to victimize.”
"Enough. Enough of that word. Enough of this rhetoric."
Bottcher later shared the clip of his remarks to Twitter and demanded that Paladino "acknowledge this is wrong and tell others to stop also."
Many have echoed Bottcher's criticisms.
Earlier this month, Bryan Slaton, a Texas state Republican Representative, complained about a Dallas gay bar that hosted a family-friendly drag brunch for young children and vowed to introduce legislation to stop what he called the “disturbing trend in which perverted adults are obsessed with sexualizing young children."
Shortly after, Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio took to Twitter to gloat after shaming an Air Force base into canceling its drag queen story hour.
Rubio said it was "good" the Air Force had canceled the event, which would have featured a drag queen reading stories to young children, after he wrote a letter to them expressing his outrage.
Drag queen story hours have received considerable pusback nationwide from conservatives who have alleged that they are an opportunity to "indoctrinate" children into the LGBTQ+ community rather than an opportunity to impart values of inclusivity and acceptance.
"Violent threats" recently prompted one North Carolina town to cancel a scheduled drag queen story hour during Pride Month festivities.