Lesbian congressional candidate’s virtual debate hijacked by racist and homophobic trolls
A lesbian congressional candidate has spoken out after a virtual debate she was involved in was hijacked with racist and homophobic messages.
Mary Fay, one of the only openly gay Republicans running for office in 2020, had been taking part in a remote debate with her incumbent Democratic opponent in the race for the Connecticut’s 1st Congressional District, Rep. John Larson, when the Zoom conference was infiltrated by trolls.
Virtual debate was hijacked with vile messages
Fay says the event on Monday (October 19), hosted by the League of Women Voters of Greater Hartford and broadcast live via public TV station West Hartford Community Interactive, descended into “farce” as the comments were spammed with obscene, racist and homophobic messages.
The infiltrating of open-access video conference meetings by trolls, known as Zoombombing, has become a routine hazard for those holding events during the pandemic – with Zoom taking action to try and tackle the practise back in May.
Fay, a self-described moderate Republican who is married to a woman and has a 10-year-old daughter, said in a Facebook post: “I am absolutely disgusted by the hate speech that occurred during our 1st district Congressional debate Monday evening. Vulgar, threatening, cowardly, and pure hate. We must not be deterred.”
Democratic congressman condemns ‘despicable’ homophobic trolling of opponent
Larson told the Connecticut Mirror: “It is despicable that they attacked Connecticut’s first LGBTQ (female) congressional candidate and the non-partisan moderator.
“This type of hatred has no place in Connecticut. I stand with my opponents and the League of Women Voters and condemn this attack.”
Like nearly all of the openly LGBT+ GOP candidates running for election, Fay does not have a significant chance of victory in the race, with Larson having held the heavily-Democratic district since 1998, winning 63.9 percent of the vote in 2018.