Eighteen years in prison for Church Arson at Drag Queen Event in Ohio

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Church Arson at Drag Queen Event in Ohio

Background of the Incident

The Department of Justice announced on Tuesday, January 30th, that they have sentenced a 20-year-old American to 18 years in prison for throwing Molotov cocktails at a church in Ohio hosting a drag queen event.

Motivation Behind the Crime

Aimenn Penny, who pleaded guilty in October to hate-motivated church arson and using fire and explosives to commit a felony, was arrested in March 2023. The sentence was handed down on Monday by a federal court.

Motivation Behind the Crime

The young man, a member of a far-right group, admitted to attempting to set fire to a church in Chesterland, Ohio (northern part), after learning it was preparing to host several drag queen shows.

These shows have become one of the main targets of conservative circles in the United States.

The Protest and Escalation

In March 2023, Aimenn Penny participated in a protest against a “Drag Queen Story Hour,” a reading event for children featuring drag queens as storytellers, in the city of Wadsworth.

According to court documents, he carried a Nazi flag and shouted racist and homophobic slurs.

He told the police he was trying to “protect children and put an end to the drag show.”

The National Impact

Launched in 2015 in San Francisco, “Drag Queen Story Hours” have become a nightmare for the right, which sees them as, at best, activism, and at worst, a sexualized performance dangerous for children.

Opposition to drag shows has sometimes turned violent. The LGBT+ rights organization GLAAD has recorded over 160 protests or threats against drag queen performances in 15 months, from the beginning of 2022 to March 31, 2023.

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You can read more infos about this on U.S departement of justice Press Releases  : https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/ohio-man-sentenced-18-years-prison-firebombing-church-planned-host-drag-show-events

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