Metro Weekly

Gay College Student Pleads Guilty to Threatening to Kill Matt Gaetz

A New Hampshire college student has pleaded guilty to threatening to kill Congressman Matt Gaetz over his anti-LGBTQ stances.

U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz – Photo: Ike Hayman, U.S. House Office of Photography/House Creative Services

A New Hampshire college student pleaded guilty to federal charges of threatening to kill U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.).

Allan Poller, a student at Keene State College in New Hampshire, allegedly left a voicemail message with Gaetz’s Capitol Hill office on March 29.

He told Gaetz, “[i]f you keep on coming for the gays, we’re gonna strike back and I guarantee you, you do not want to fuck with us. We will kill you if that’s what it takes. I will take a bullet to your fucking head if you fuck with my rights anymore. And then if you want to keep going down that path, you know who’s next.”

The 24-year-old also spelled his name and left his number on the voicemail.

Last week, Poller pleaded guilty to a charge of “transmitting in interstate commerce a threat to injure the person of another” after being arrested for the threat in April.

U.S. District Court Judge Landya McCafferty scheduled Poller’s sentencing hearing for January 18, 2024.

Poller could face up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

In an April 10 episode of his personal podcast, Gaetz played a version of the voicemail in which he kept Poller’s phone number but omitted the expletives.

Poller admitted to leaving the message after he had been drinking and became enraged by some of Gaetz’s anti-LGBTQ remarks while watching TikTok videos.

As part of his plea deal, Poller agreed that while he may not have intended to carry out the threat, he knew his voicemail would be viewed as such.

According to CNN, Poller’s attorney, Jesse Friedman, stated that his client “recognizes that hate in any form is wrong and hurtful. He accepts responsibility for his actions and did not intend for his acts to cause harm or a threat to anybody.”

Gaetz has amassed a record of anti-LGBTQ votes since being elected to Congress in 2016.

He voted multiple times against the Equality Act, a sweeping civil rights bill that would have prohibited discrimination against LGBTQ people in employment, credit, housing, and public accommodations.

In 2022, he voted against the Respect for Marriage Act, a bill to ensure that same-sex unions (or at least those performed in states without explicit bans on the practice) would be recognized by the federal and state governments. 

More recently, Gaetz — like many other Republicans — has emphasized his opposition to transgender identity and LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum in schools, as noted by the right-wing publication National Review. 

“The far-left gender ideology and divisive race ideology that we’ve seen in other parts of the country has really permeated the school system,” Gaetz said in a statement while introducing a bill to allow prayer in schools. “I think that more space for prayer for students in schools is probably better than creating more space for, you know, the next pansexual poetry hour in Portland.”

Support Metro Weekly’s Journalism

These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and MetroWeekly.com remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!