A caller used anti-LGBTQ hate speech to issue a bomb threat against a library in Davis, Calif., near Sacramento, on Monday. This forced the Mary L. Stephens Library and a nearby elementary school to evacuate.
The threat came the day after a right-wing group tried to have an event at the library that didn’t go as expected.
On Sunday, the Yolo County chapter of Moms for Liberty — an anti-civil rights, anti-LGBTQ+ organization that the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated an anti-government extremist group — held an event attacking transgender athletes’ inclusion in sports.
At the ‘Forum On Fair And Safe Sport For Girls,’ Sophia Lorey, a former college soccer player at Vanguard University, shared her story about being a collegiate athlete. Lorey is a right-wing speaker as she travels around the country advocating for transphobic policies in sports. She continually referred to men on women’s teams when referring to transgender women.
As the event progressed, audience complaints prompted library staff to warn speakers that misgendering athletes violates the library’s code of conduct.
Library staff member Scott Love interjected and asked speakers to be respectful or if they continued misgendering trans athletes, be asked to leave, Media Matters reports.
“I don’t want any transgender females being called males in sporting events with females,” a person can be heard saying in a video posted online of the incident.
Audience members applauded the speaker before a Moms for Liberty representative challenged them.
“I’d like you to give the written library requirements that abrogate our First Amendment rights that compel us to speak in a different way. Can you provide those for us?” a woman asked.
Love explained that in California, under state law, transgender women are recognized as women. Therefore, the library’s policies demanding respect for all people are violated when speakers continue to misgender transgender people.
Lorey, perplexed, began speaking again and insisted that “biological men” are playing sports on teams for “young biological girls.”
Love interrupted and asked her to leave when California attorney and far-right anti-trans activist Erin Friday began to engage with the crowd, demanding that the hate group’s First Amendment rights be respected.
The event devolved from there and soon came to a halt.
In the evening, conservative anti-lockdown activist Jonathan Zachreson posted his account of the event on Twitter (formerly known as X) alongside a flier for the event. The anti-LGBTQ+ group California Family Council posted a video of the altercation on X.
Security experts say these sorts of targeted attacks amount to stochastic terrorism.
Just before 3 p.m., police issued an alert in response to the bomb threat after several right-wing publications and blogs published articles on the previous day’s incident.
It was reported in a Fox News article that “Riley Gaines slams men trying to ‘silence’ ex-college athlete at California library event” less than two hours after Gaines posted her initial tweet on the matter, Media Matters notes. Before the bomb threat was uncovered, several right-wing outlets with anti-LGBTQ+ histories published reports, including OutKick, Timcast, and the Washington Examiner. Each of the three cited Gaines.