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Religious Leaders Respond to Orlando, Embracing LGBTQ Community During Difficult Time

by HRC staff June 15, 2016

Post submitted by HRC staff with contributions from Katherine Burns

In the wake of the Orlando shooting, religious leaders have stood united against hate and in support of the LGBTQ community.

Prominent Christian religious leaders have preached compassion and understanding. The Rev.  Al Sharpton wrote in a Huffington Post blog post that he has been “disappointed by people who otherwise consider themselves ministers, activists or social justice seekers express such homophobic views.” He denounced hatred and bigotry and advocated for faith leaders to espouse more love in the wake of such tragedy.

The Presbyterian Church of the USA released a powerful statement supporting their LGBTQ members: “Facing this evil, we reaffirm the commitment of our own General Assembly to oppose all efforts to demean or exclude those in our society and our churches whose sexual orientation has made them targets of abuse and hatred.”

The Alliance of Baptists tweeted their love and support for those affected by the Orlando shooting:

Leaders in the Catholic Church have also expressed their deepest condolences to the victims’ families and advocated for love. According to a statement from the Vatican, the massacre in Orlando evoked the “deepest feelings of horror and condemnation” in Pope Francis. Archbishop Blase Cupich of Chicago, released a statement of love: “Our prayers and hearts are with the victims of the mass shooting in Orlando, their families and our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters.”

The Union for Reform Judaism extended their compassion for the families of the victims, and many Rabbis across the country have released statements in support of the LGBTQ community. Rabbis Jeremy Cronig and Kathryn Fleisher, of the North American Federation of Temple Youth reaffirmed their “commitment to battling homophobia and hatred in this nation.”

The Dalai Lama led a silent prayer for the Orlando victims and urged people to work towards a more peaceful and compassionate world.

Over 200 Muslim leaders, clerics and scholars have extended their love and support, including such organizations as Muslim Alliance for Sexual and Gender Diversity, and Muslim Advocates, and many more.

Following tragic life events, communities of faith serve as an important support mechanism and as an outlet to express grief. HRC applauds these leaders, sects and congregations for promoting love and support for their LGBTQ and allied members during this difficult time.

To learn more about your faith and the LGBTQ community visit

People look to their faith as a source of guidance and inspiration – and LGBTQ people and our family and friends are no different. The HRC Religion and Faith Program is working to create a world where nobody is forced to choose between who they are, whom they love and what they believe. Learn more here.

HRC staff
HRC staff


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