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Advancement Project Stands in Solidarity with the LGBTQ Community Following Tragic Night Club Shooting

WASHINGTON – On Sunday, June 12, suspected gunman Omar Mateen opened deadly fire at the Pulse night club in Orlando, Fla. At the conclusion of what has been termed the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, 50 people were killed and more than 53 others wounded. Judith Browne Dianis, executive director of the national racial justice organization Advancement Project released the following statement in response to the horrific tragedy:

“Our hearts go out to the Pulse night club shooting victims and their families, our LGBTQ family and the entire Orlando, Fla. community. As police work to determine a motive, we send our heartfelt condolences to those who have lost loved ones and to those whose whereabouts are unknown to their families and friends.

“The tragedy in Orlando is added to a long list of hate-fueled attacks on our LGBTQ sisters and brothers. It also lengthens an already long list of mass shootings in the United States: Newtown, Conn.; Aurora, Col., Charleston, S.C.; and others. Aside from mass shootings, residents in many American cities continue to contend with high incidences of gun violence, yet we still haven’t found a way to deal with it effectively.

“As we work to make sense of something so utterly incomprehensible, we should be careful not to rush to judgment or demonize certain members of our community. Too many times during instances of mass shootings, there is a rush to judgment, and communities of color and religious minorities are wrongly scrutinized and targeted. What happened in Orlando is an isolated tragedy and we should be careful not to draw unconfirmed conclusions. We should focus on the path of healing rather than appealing to the lowest common denominator; advice elected officials, including presidential candidates, would do well to adhere as hateful rhetoric has disastrous consequences.

“We are concerned that as state legislatures pass laws targeting the LGBTQ community, they are promoting the dehumanization of this community. All forms of hate and violence have no place in the world, and it’s time we took a more proactive stance to defend against it.”

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Advancement Project is a next generation, multi-racial civil rights organization. Rooted in the great human rights struggles for equality and justice, we exist to fulfill America’s promise of a caring, inclusive and just democracy. We use innovative tools and strategies to strengthen social movements and achieve high impact policy change.

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