Five people died and at least 18 others were injured in the attack in Colorado Springs, which came amid a campaign by conservative media and politicians to demonize trans people and drag queens and pass hostile legislation targeting the LGBTQ community as a whole. The fear campaign has coincided with a spike in anti-LGBTQ harassment, threats and violence. The suspect in the killings faces murder and hate crime charges.
In an episode of her podcast this week, Ellis suggested that the victims of the shooting would suffer “eternal damnation” because they weren’t, in her eyes, Christian.
“Even more tragic than untimely death, is that the five people who were killed in the nightclub that night, there is no evidence at all that they were Christians,” the far-right attorney said. “And so assuming that they had not accepted the truth of the Gospel of Christ and affirmed Jesus Christ as the lord of their life, they are now reaping the consequences of having eternal damnation.”
Ellis, also a right-wing media pundit, played a top role in Trump’s failed legal push to overturn the 2020 presidential election and most recently worked as a legal adviser to extremist Republican gubernatorial nominee Doug Mastriano in Pennsylvania, who lost. Her history of anti-LGBTQ rhetoric dates back years.
After calling the Club Q shooting "tragic," Jenna Ellis said yesterday that "even more tragic" is that the victims, "assuming" "that they had not accepted the truth of the Gospel of Christ and affirmed Jesus ... they are now reaping the consequences of having eternal damnation." pic.twitter.com/SvJnXKNcy2
— Eric Hananoki (@ehananoki) November 23, 2022
In one 2017 Facebook post recorded by Media Matters, for example, she wrote: “Whether or not homosexuals are nice, wise people, or misunderstood, or mean is not the issue. … Sin is always sin, even if nice people commit it.”
And after the 2016 Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando, Florida, in which 49 people were killed and 53 wounded, she voiced her disappointment that “conservatives are acquiescing to the LGBT agenda.”
“The Orlando shooting was absolutely terrible and tragic. But the response to this tragedy should not be embracing and advocating for gay rights,” she said after the deadly attack on the gay nightclub.
Earlier this week, she criticized the Colorado Springs Police Department because it included each of the Club Q victims’ pronouns when sharing their identities.
In the wake of the attack, right-wing figures have rebuffed accusations that their rhetoric helped create the environment for anti-LGBTQ violence, instead accusing critics of “politicizing” the tragedy and doubling down on their false narratives vilifying the community and its allies.
Ellis met fierce condemnation online Wednesday after clips of her Club Q commentary circulated.
Jenna Ellis is an idiotic, insensitive monster... https://t.co/n49Smow03i
— Christian Nightmares (@ChristnNitemare) November 23, 2022
In case you've forgotten in the last 2 weeks, this woman was the SENIOR ADVISOR to the Republican candidate for governor of Pennsylvania (who received 2 million votes, FWIW) https://t.co/wc0abJXD3m
— Will Bunch (@Will_Bunch) November 23, 2022
Jenna Ellis is not playing a character. She is not pandering. She truly hates LGBTQ people, and she wants us to burn in hell. She has no qualms gleefully pointing this out when LGBTQ people are murdered.
So, why exactly are her relationships with GOP officials not scrutinized?
— firstname.lastname@example.org (@cmclymer) November 23, 2022
She just said they deserved to die because there is no evidence they were Christians.
This. Is. Madness. https://t.co/6pmmomRiTB
— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) November 23, 2022
This is truly atrocious and deeply wrong https://t.co/AJ5RjDQBnN
— Molly Jong-Fast (@MollyJongFast) November 23, 2022
Jenna Ellis, the Story of Fake Christian Hypocrisy in 3 Acts: pic.twitter.com/i7fosuYgrS
— Mrs. Betty Bowers (@BettyBowers) November 23, 2022
Jenna Ellis is a garbage human, fake Christian, deceptive shitbird, and worthy of every bit of scorn she receives for her ill timed reprehensible comments about the victims of the Colorado shooting from just days ago. Check your bible Jenna. Jesus wasn't this. @JennaEllisEsq
— Mr. Newberger (@jeremynewberger) November 23, 2022
In response to the outcry, Ellis insisted she doesn’t have anything against gay and trans people, just anyone she deems not to be Christian enough.
“I am concerned for ANYONE and EVERYONE who is not saved,” she tweeted. “The point isn’t that these people were gay/trans, but that there is no evidence they were saved. Y’all need church.”
It’s such a stupidly false leftist talking point to say “you hate gay and trans people.”
No, I don’t. I am concerned for ANYONE and EVERYONE who is not saved. The point isn’t that these people were gay/trans, but that there is no evidence they were saved. Y’all need church.
— Jenna Ellis 🍊🦅 (@JennaEllisEsq) November 23, 2022