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San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus dog-piled with death threats by QAnon conspiracy theorists

Patrick Kelleher July 9, 2021
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Gay Men's Chorus

"A Message From the Gay Community," performed by the San Francisco Gay Mens Chorus. (YouTube)

The San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus has been dog-piled with death threats by QAnon conspiracy theorists over a satirical song about teaching kids tolerance.

The group shared a new song, titled “A Message from the Gay Community”, on Wednesday (7 July), and it wasn’t long before conservatives got their hands on the tongue-in-cheek track.

In the song, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus sing: “You think that we’ll corrupt your kids if our agenda goes unchecked… Funny, just this once, you’re correct.”

Over the course of the four-and-a-half-minute song, the gay men hilariously joke about making children “tolerant and fair”, adding that they’re going to do it “bit by bit, quietly and subtly”.

The far-right quickly latched onto the song, and individual members have faced 48 hours of relentless abuse, according to the group’s executive director Chris Verdugo.

Commenter told Gay Men’s Chorus they were going to put ‘lead in your head’

“We have received emails, phone messages, threats across all of our social media platforms – not just about the chorus, but the staff, as well as the soloists who were featured in the song,” he told SFist.

“The [YouTube] comment that continues to stick out in my head is the one that said ‘We’re going to put lead in your head.'”

Verdugo went on to explain that one Twitter user even took a screenshot of the members singing in the video and created a spreadsheet in an effort to identify them.

Some members of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus even had the far-right contact their workplaces claiming they were “paedophiles”.

“Singers on their social media have been getting threats. It’s been a harrowing 36 hours,” Verdugo said.

One Twitter user gained widespread traction on social media when they tweeted claiming that many members of the chorus are registered sex offenders.

SFist checked the Megan’s Law database and discovered that the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus members accused of being registered sex offenders were nothing of the sort.

In fact, the Twitter user had actually found registered sex offenders with similar names to the members of the chorus, but they were living miles away from San Francisco.

Verdugo revealed that they were forced to close their San Francisco office as the backlash intensified. All staff were sent home in a bid to protect their safety.

The San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus issued a statement as backlash intensified

The situation spiralled so quickly out of control that the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus issued a statement on Thursday (8 July).

“The far-right conservative media found our ‘Message…’ video and have taken it as their cause,” the Gay Men’s Chorus’ statement said.

“This has all happened in the last 24 hours and it continues to pick up steam.

“They have taken the lyrics out of context to support a narrative that suits their intolerant and hateful needs. It is obvious the tongue-in-cheek humour is lost on many.

“As a result, we have seen the user comments on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram become increasingly alarming. Emails to individuals and the chorus office are vitriolic – including threats of harm.”

The San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus went on to say that the response to its video “proves that our message is critically important in today’s world”.

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