Faith Response to Events of Orlando Tragedy: A Letter
A letter of support facilitated by Equality Illinois.
We, as clergy and faith leaders, wish to express our immense sadness at the tragic loss of life in Orlando, Florida on June 12, 2016. We write in solidarity with the LGBT community, as both members of the community and allies, in this time of pain, grief, and mourning. Yet in the midst of unimaginable heartbreak, we have found room for love. We have found room for healing, hope, and acceptance. In our churches, mosques, and temples, in our homes, places of work, and public spaces, we have found room for both grief and joy.
We have also found room for anger. We are angry that hateful and homophobic speech has paved the way for violence. Angry that decades of hate directed towards the LGBT community have led to this moment. And most of all, we are angry that we, as members of a faith community, but also as human beings, are now expected to be accustomed to this type of tragedy.
In this time of mourning, we, as members of an LGBT-inclusive faith community, have provided healing and open spaces. However, it is an inescapable reality that words of hate and acts of violence often times have misguided root in faith tradition. As leaders in our faith traditions, it is incumbent upon us to show the world that our communities are welcoming and loving places for all people.
With members of the LGBT community, fellow faith leaders, and many touched by the tragedy in Orlando, we have stood - and will continue to stand - together. We hope that our houses of worship have lived up to their promises of unconditional support for all of those who need them. We know that words of hate have led to hateful actions, but now we hope that our words of love and acceptance will lead to actions of the same.
Let us all, as we move into the final days of Pride month, celebrate the beauty that love and acceptance brings.
With love and pride,