(BALTIMORE) — A Maryland man was charged Tuesday for allegedly threatening the Human Rights Campaign, a prominent LGBTQ+ rights organization, in what police say appears to be a response to the March 27 Nashville, Tennessee, mass shooting at a Christian school.
The man who allegedly threatened the Human Rights Campaign, Adam Michael Nettina, is charged with interstate communications with a threat to injure for allegedly leaving a voicemail on March 28 in which he threatened to “slaughter,” shoot and assault members of the organization.
Authorities say they believe he references the Nashville shooting in his voicemail. Nashville police have said the school shooter identified as transgender, adding the shooter was assigned female at birth but pointed to a social media account linked to the shooter that included use of the pronouns he/him.
“You guys going to shoot up our schools now? Is that how it’s going to be?” the voicemail said, according to DOJ documents.
It continued, “We’re waiting. And if you want a war, we’ll have a war.”
The threat follows concerns from LGBTQ groups about anti-LGBTQ hate and violence.
Some prominent Republicans promoted anti-transgender rhetoric and speculated that the Nashville shooter’s gender identity played a role in the gun violence despite research showing that mass shootings are overwhelmingly committed by cisgender men and that transgender people are four times more likely to be victims of violence.
“The LGBTQ+ community is under attack in statehouses across the country and on social media platforms,” read a statement from Elizabeth Bibi, spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign, sent to ABC News. “This violent, hateful rhetoric leads to stigma, and stigma leads to physical violence.”
“As we see radical politicians sow hate and fear with anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric, we have seen the physical threats to our community multiply – from armed men at Pride parades, to threats of violence against local drag shows at libraries, to bomb threats at children’s hospitals, to the continued rise in fatal violence against members of our community, especially Black transgender women,” Bibi continued.
Advocates say that falsely painting the entire LGBTQ community as inherently dangerous and responsible for the actions of one person will promote violence against the community.
“Every study available shows that transgender and nonbinary people are much more likely to be victims of violence, rather than the perpetrator of it,” the Human Rights Campaign said in a statement following the shooting. “Regardless of the reason for this shooting, the use of violence is reprehensible and we renew our call for common-sense gun safety.”
If convicted, Nettina faces a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison. Legal representation for Nettina was not available.
The case was investigated by the FBI Baltimore Field Office.
The Human Rights Campaign said it received two threatening voicemails late last month.
“We are grateful to law enforcement for acting so quickly to keep our community safe, and we condemn any and all violent words or deeds. We will continue our work to call out those who spread violence, fear and disinformation.”
ABC News’ Alexander Mallin contributed to the report.
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