American Humanists Mourn with LGBTQ Community After Orlando Shooting

Scenes from a vigil held in the wake of the Orlando shootings (photo by Fibonacci Blue via Flickr)

The American Humanist Association issued the following statement in wake of the Orlando shooting:

(Orlando, FL, June 13, 2016)–The American Humanist Association mourns with the victims of the Orlando, Florida, shooting and stands in solidarity with the LGBTQ community in this time of sorrow. In response to reports that the Orlando shooter claimed allegiance to ISIS, the American Humanist Association condemns the extremist religious prejudice that can be the foundation for such violence against LGBTQ individuals.

“Despite the recent gains toward equality for LGBTQ Americans, the tragedy in Orlando reminds us of the bigotry that still impacts the LGBTQ community,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association. “While this incident is no excuse for hatred against religious groups, religious or ideological extremism that condones violence and seeks to deny equal rights for all cannot go unchallenged.”

Speckhardt continued, “We must remain ever-vigilant in our fight to protect the rights and safety of everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”

The American Humanist Association has long supported the rights of LGBTQ people, including same-sex marriage and the right to live free from discrimination. The American Humanist Association will continue to actively challenge religious extremism and prejudice against the LGBTQ community, particularly through its LGBTQ Humanist Alliance and other social justice adjuncts.