In the wake of a mass shooting at the Club Q nightclub in Colorado, the oldest interfaith peace and justice organization in the U.S., the Fellowship of Reconciliation, affirms its solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community and sends prayers for healing to the victims and their families.
At least five people were killed and 18 injured late Saturday night in Colorado Springs, Colorado, when a gunman opened fire in an LGBTQ+ nightclub. Club Q released a statement on its Facebook page saying it was “devastated by the senseless attack on our community.”
“This mass shooting comes amid the ongoing gun violence epidemic in the U.S. and a horrible rise in attacks on the LGBTQ+ community,” said FOR-USA’s executive director Ariel Gold. “As people of faith, who know without question that G-d loves all genders and sexualities and those who actively seek to build Beloved Community. We affirm our solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community.”
The Fellowship of Reconciliation has a long history of rejecting homophobia. In 1920, openly gay, labor, and women’s rights activist Grace Hutchins joined FOR-USA, becoming a public speaker for the organization and serving as its press secretary from 1922 to 1926.
In 1947, FOR-USA staff member, Bayard Rustin, who was openly gay and served as a mentor to Dr. Martin Luther King, planned the “Journey of Reconciliation,” which provided a model for the Freedom Rides of the 1960s. This is not to say that during its history, FOR-USA, has always lived up to its values, but it is proud today to work with Rev. Jason Carson Wilson, the founder and executive director of the Bayard Rustin Liberation Initiative.
“Just as we, since we formed in 1915, have supported conscientious objection to war and other forms of violence, we today conscientiously object to homophobia, transphobia, and all other forms of hatred,” Gold said. “As Rev. Jason Carson Wilson explained in a statement of support for the Equality Act, ‘No one can enjoy true liberty without equality.’ FOR-USA is painfully aware of how religious extremism fuels anti-LGBTQ+ hatred and pledges to confront Christian nationalism in the U.S. as a perversion of religion. We people of faith — whether Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Buddist or other — seek to reclaim the name of G-d as being that of love and nonviolence.”
Since 1918, the Fellowship of Reconciliation has published the award-winning print magazine Fellowship. It is also now online, offering original grassroots analysis, movement research, first-person commentary, poetry and more to help people of faith and conscience build a nonviolent, compassionate world.
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