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Michigan state senator hits back after GOP colleague appears to call her a 'groomer'

A Michigan state senator on Tuesday delivered an impassioned response after she was accused in a Republican colleague's fundraising email of being "outraged" that schools "can't groom and sexualize kindergarteners," The Hill and Insider report.

"I didn't expect to wake up yesterday to the news that the senator from the 22nd district had, overnight, accused me by name of grooming and sexualizing children in an email fundraising for herself," state Sen. Mallory McMorrow (D) began Tuesday, alluding to an email from GOP state Sen. Lana Theis. The subject line of said email was reportedly "Groomers outraged by my invocation."

"So I sat on it for a while wondering, 'Why me?' And then I realized: because I am the biggest threat to your hollow, hateful scheme," McMorrow continued. "Because you can't claim that you are targeting marginalized kids in the name of 'parental rights' if another parent is standing up to say no."

Theis' initial fundraising email was ostensibly alluding to McMorrow's opposition to legislation restricting the discussion of gender and sexuality in schools, the most notable example of which is likely Florida's new "Don't Say Gay" law.

McMorrow was also one of three state senators who walked out of a legislative session last week after Theis claimed "children are under attack" because there are "forces that desire things for them other than what their parents would have them see and hear and know." 

Accusations of "grooming" have recently gained popularity among certain right-leaning commentators and activists, with those "on the fringes" claiming that those who oppose measures like the "Don't Say Gay" bill are "enabling children to be primed for abuse by allowing them to learn about gender and sexual identity," The Hill writes. McMorrow's speech on Tuesday, for which she received high marks among Democrats, reflected that exact national conversation, even with its references to broader pieces of the culture wars (such as critical race theory).