PRESS RELEASE: Club Q Representatives Visit Washington D.C.

January 2, 2023
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PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
Jan. 2, 2023

 

Club Q Representatives Visit Washington D.C.

On Dec 14, 2022, representatives of Club Q, including two survivors of the horrific shooting Michael Anderson and James Slaugh, and business owner Matthew Haynes were invited to testify before the House Oversight Committee in Washington D.C. The hearing focused on the rising danger of violence against the LGBTQI+ community. 

In her opening remarks, Chairwoman Rep. Carolyn Maloney stated, “Last month, a person with an AR-15-style assault rifle entered Club Q—a nightclub that served as a haven for LGBTQI+ people in the Colorado Springs community—and opened fire on unsuspecting bar patrons and staff.  The attacker’s depravity robbed us of five innocent lives—Daniel Aston, Raymond Green Vance, Kelly Loving, Ashley Paugh, and Derrick Rump,” said Chairwoman Maloney in her opening statement.  “Let us honor them by recommitting to the bold action necessary to ensure that every person in the United States can experience the freedom to live authentically and safely—regardless of who they love or how they identify.”

Unfortunately, in the opening remarks of Ranking Member James Comer (R-KY) it became very apparent that the issues of gun violence and LGBTQI+ issues are still being ignored by the Republican Party.

• Mr. Anderson testified: “It was places like gay bars and clubs that helped me embrace who I was and formed me into the man I am today … If you are fortunate enough to intimately know LGBTQ people, you will find some of the kindest, funniest, accepting, and most welcoming people. Those are the people that found a safe place in Club Q and deserve to once again have that safe space … I can still hear the rapid firing of bullets today.  It’s a sound I may never forget.  It’s a sound I hope no one here or anywhere else in this country has to hear.”

•Mr. Haynes testified: “I know that we, our Club Q community, are in the thoughts and prayers of many of you.  Unfortunately, these thoughts and prayers alone are not saving lives. They are not changing the rhetoric of hate.  None of us ever imagined that our little bar in Colorado Springs would be the target of the next hate crime, and I again repeat that we were targeted for the next hate crime … When you take hate and access to military style assault weapons, putting those together is total carnage.”

•Mr. Slaugh testified: “I don’t want to imagine what may have happened if the shooter had not been taken down that night.  Five wonderful people were still murdered and may we never forget their names. Ashley Paugh, Raymond Green Vance, Daniel Aston, Derrick Rump, and Kelly Loving.  We miss each of you.”

We are grateful for Chairwoman Rep. Carolyn Maloney’s commitment to our LGBTI+ community, and support specifically of our local Colorado Springs community.

We are also very grateful for the invitation to attend the White House for the historic signing of the Respect for Marriage Act, as well as being invited to the President’s White House Holiday Party where we had the opportunity to meet with President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden. We are grateful to have a friend and ally in the White House, and thank the President for his unwavering support of the LGBTI+ community.

We are also grateful for the many organizations and people we were able to meet while working in Washington D.C. We want to thank a few in particular, including but not limited to: the Humans Right Campaign, GLAAD, Tony Morrison, Rich Ferraro, The House Progressive Caucus, Admiral Rachel Levine and her staff, Representative Doug Lamborn, Senator Michael Bennet, Senator John Hickenlooper, the National LGBTQ Task Force, The Trevor Project, The White House, Vice President Kamala Harris, President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden.

We look forward to our continued involvement and advocacy for policies that can help prevent tragedies like the one that has occurred at Club Q.

 

 

Official Links

House Committee on Oversight and Reform Press Release

https://oversight.house.gov/news/press-releases/at-oversight-committee-hearing-survivors-of-anti-lgbtqi-violence-underscore

The Dangers of Anti-LGBTQI+ Extremism Full Hearing

https://oversight.house.gov/legislation/hearings/the-rise-of-anti-lgbtqi-extremism-and-violence-in-the-united-states

Michael Anderson Testimony:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVR9wJurWU4&t=105s

Matthew Haynes Testimony:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48k4KsWGgCo

James Slaugh Testimony:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3k0-RCLay-c&t=3s

The White House Ceremony to Sign the Respect for Marriage Act

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIGAp2GPwCI

Media Links

MSNBC’s Joy Reid Interview with Michael Anderson, James Slaugh, and Sarah Kate Ellis

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6zG5cocbrU

MSNBC’s Hallie Jackson Interview with James Slaugh and Sarah Kate Ellis

https://twitter.com/hallieonmsnbc/status/1603148474190528515?s=46&t=1Szl3OUcwTN3xEVk6Xw9Uw

ABC News Interview with Michael Anderson and Sarah Kate Ellis:

https://abcnews.go.com/US/video/club-survivor-glaad-president-call-action-amid-rise-95289932

CNN Interview with James Slaugh and Sarah Kate Ellis

https://app.frame.io/presentations/e3bc800b-4e51-4ced-9c21-8e97de144d4c

CNN’s Don Lemon Interview with Michael Anderson, Matthew Haynes, James Slaugh and Sarah Kate Ellis

https://video.snapstream.net/Play/8ZkLXPaqGXmvg72hEO7VAC?accessToken=dcy4iia8zsq6g

Other Links

AXIOS

CNN

NBC NEWS

CO Public Radio

REUTERS

WASHINGTON POST

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