Thu. May 23rd, 2024

Maine GOP lawmaker says Lewiston shooting was God’s wrath in response to law expanding abortion access

By 37ci3 Apr11,2024

Two Maine lawmakers face possible impeachment after someone says the state’s deadliest mass shooting in Lewiston It was a sign of God’s vengeance for the passage of a law expanding access to abortion by the Democratic-led state Legislature in October and other “immoral laws.”

within one floor discussion WedState Rep. Michael Lemelin, a Republican, said God “draws a line in the sand, and when we cross that line, there are consequences.”

“Think about it, Madam Speaker,” Lemelin told House Speaker Rachel Talbot, a Democrat, to Ross. “When (LD) 1619 was passed on October 25th and the law went into effect, you told God that life doesn’t matter.”

Lemelin later drew parallels between the state law expanding access to abortion and the mass shooting in Lewiston.

“Remember that the law came into force on October 25. God heard you and the terrible events that happened on October 25,” he said.

Republican state representative Shelley Rudnicki later confirmed Lemelin’s words.

“I just want to stand up and say that I agree with Rep. Lemel and everything he said,” Rudnicki said on the chamber floor.

Law enforcement officers gather near their cars
Law enforcement officers after a mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine, 2023.Angela Weiss / AFP via Getty Images file

But Lemeli’s remarks drew condemnation from state lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

Assistant House Majority Leader Kristen Cloutier, a Democrat, said in a statement. statement both Lemelin and Rudnicki showed “an astonishing disregard, deeply disturbing empathy, and an infuriating disregard for the victims, their families, and everyone in our community whose hearts have been broken by this horrific senseless act of violence.”

State Rep. Rachel Henderson was among several Republicans who condemned Lemelin’s remarks, calling them “insult-worthy” in an impassioned floor speech.

“I don’t see anywhere in the Bible where God’s word is used as a weapon against people or where God’s name is used to express His wrath to people,” Henderson said. “I will not speak to the character or motives of the statements made today, but these statements are reprehensible and statements that I do not support or stand for.”

“Although this is not my place, I apologize to every member who was here and heard this and was offended,” he said. “I am proud of where I stand. I’m proud of the positions I’ve held, but I’m not proud to be a Republican tonight. I’m not proud to have the letter “R” in front of my name.”

Lemelin, Rudnicki and Ross did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

On Oct. 25, 18 people were killed when a 40-year-old Army reservist opened fire on a bowling alley and bar in Lewiston. The gunman was found dead by suicide after two days of searching.

The Maine House is set to vote to censure Lemelin and Rudnicki for their comments.

In Letters to Lemelin and Rudnicki Speaking to NBC News on Thursday, Ross said the House would vote to censure the shooting victims and their families for comments that were “extremely offensive and intentionally hurtful.”

“Your conduct and acquiescence in this language violated the etiquette of the House,” Ross said. “Your actions deserve the most serious consequences this body can provide.”

Ross also said the two Republican lawmakers must issue formal apologies, read them on the House floor and deliver them in writing to members of House leadership, or they will be barred from voting or speaking.

“You must accept sole and full responsibility for the incident and publicly apologize to your constituents, the victims and families of the Lewiston tragedy, the greater Lewiston community, the House of Representatives and the people of Maine,” he said.

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By 37ci3

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