Following the escalation of anti-LGBTQ attacks against a bakery northwest of Chicago last weekend, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), the majority whip, and Illinois Gov.

J.B. Pritzker expressed to the Los Angeles Blade their concerns over the rise of hate and extremism in America. On July 23, a man was arrested and charged with a hate crime after allegedly smashing the windows of UpRising Bakery and Café and spray-painting offensive messages on the building in Lake in the Hills, Ill.

After announcing plans to host a family-friendly drag show, the establishment was targeted with a campaign of harassment that, ahead of the vandalism, included an incident where a bag of feces was left outside with a note proclaiming, “pedophiles work here.”   “No one should have to live in fear for being who they are,” Durbin told the Blade. “Yet we continue to see extremists target minority groups, including the LGBTQ community, with threatening, hateful acts.”  More broadly, Durbin said domestic extremism and hate is among the biggest threats facing our country. “Groups like the Proud Boys are weaponizing violent extremism to target communities, traumatize our country, and leave unimaginable pain and fear in their wake,” he said. “That’s why we must finally pass my Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act, which would put serious federal resources toward combatting these threats with research, training, and investigations.” Durbin, who chairs the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee, first introduced the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act in 2017 and reintroduced it this year with Sen.