Once again senseless gun violence has claimed the lives of innocent people and tragically affected the lives of countless more. My heart breaks for the victims of this horrifying act of violence. When the victims are part of a community that has been historically oppressed, this kind of violence can send shock waves through the LGBTQI community, not just in Orlando but everywhere, including in our diocese.
We must all stand in solidarity with, and openly affirm, the right to safety for all gay, lesbian, transgender, queer and inquiring people. These are our brothers, sisters, children, parents, friends and loved ones. Let us speak as one voice acknowledging the deep pain of the entire grieving LGBTQI community and say we are with you and we are praying for you. At the same time, we must pray for the perpetrator and his family, and that this horrific incident not be used as justification for religious or racial hatred. May the God whose peace passes all understanding hold us now.
The Rt. Rev. James R. Mathes
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