is LGBTQ pride month and parades and festivities abound month-long.
Pride 2016 is particularly important because it marks the one-year
anniversary of “Obergefell v. Hodges,” the historic U.S.
Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage in all 50
Pride was last week with its signature Pride Parade extravaganza on
Saturday. Come Sunday morning I woke up to the devastating news of
the Orlando club massacre where the gunman, Omar Mateen, killed 49,
and injured 53 LGBTQ revelers and allies who just happened to be
patrons at Pulse on its most popular club night, which is Latin
like most LGBTQ nightclubs across the country, was more than just a
place to dance and drink. Nightclubs functions as multiple sites for
the LGBTQ community where we can communion and have community away
from the glaring and disapproving eyes of family, church and society,
even in 2016.
an act of violence is targeted toward the LGBTQ community it
usually happens by an individual or several assailants like
in Matthew Shepard’s case that has come back to haunt and/or hurt us.
And the person could be “gay curious,” meaning he or she is questioning
his or her sexuality, but is doing it in the most inappropriate
and self-loathing way by gay bashing or in this case killing gays. This
person can also “gay cruise” by going to gay clubs or use gay
dating apps like Mateen did to gay bash for his pleasure or for
an organization like Isis.
explaining the probable reason for the carnage his son created,
Mateen’s father, Mir Seddique, shared with news media an
incident in Miami months before the nightclub shooting where his son
witnessed two gay males kissing that repulsed and outraged him,
especially since it was done in the presence of both his wife and
in trying to deflect attention away from Islamophobes who easily
blame everything disapproving a Muslim does on the religion Mir
Seddique flat out stated that his son’s attack had nothing to
do with religion. And, Muslim groups worldwide followed suit in
condemning the act.
theology is not particular to Islam. While the Quran has scriptures
condemning homosexuality so, too, does the Christian Bible.
example, although the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of marriage
equality many Republicans still think marriage should be between one
woman and one man, because somewhere in their scriptures or holy
imagination it says marriage is between “Adam and Eve, not Adam
and Steve.” And their opposition to last June’s SCOUS
decision wasn’t as hatefully demonstrative and obstructively
cynical as that of Kim Davis - the now infamous Kentucky County clerk
who not only refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples
but she also forbade her co-workers to do so, too.
a born again Christian, Davis cited that her First Amendment rights
protected her actions. And with a movement afoot with bills called
“Religious Freedom Restoration Acts’ (RFRA) looking to
codify LGBTQ discrimination Christianity doesn’t get a pass,
such a cognitive dissonance for me when public officials ask us to
pray when the majority of world religions promote anti-LGBT
theology,” said Eliel Cruz, executive director of Faith in
America, an organization that attempts to end the harm to LBGT youths
it says is caused by religious teachings. “This isn’t
isolated to Muslim beliefs. It’s seen in Christianity and it’s
just as deadly,” added Cruz, a former RNS columnist.
a sundry of intersectional and confounding factors that appear to
attribute to Mateen’s murderous act- mental illness,
homophobia, fear of coming out, anti-gay theology, and no doubt his
allegiance to Isis, to name a few. Sadly, we can’t change the
hearts of people, like Mateen, as quickly as we would like to.
However, we can change his behavior or, at least, make him
accountable for his behavior with laws in place to protect not only
himself but also the American citizenry.
presidential hopeful Donald Trump calls for a ban on Muslims entering
the US in the wake of this recent shooting, which is absurd,
especially in light of the fact that Mateen was born here.
reform continues to be that hot button issue as a country we can’t
seem to budge on. And, recent polling suggests support for reform
continues to decline.
from the two handguns Mateen had on his person he also had an AR-15,
the same semiautomatic rifle used during the movie theater in Aurora,
Colorado, and Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in 2012, and the
December holiday party in San Bernardino in 2015.
gun data illustrates there are 88 guns per 100 people. And, a country
like Yemen deemed as a terrorist county the data shows there are 55
guns per 100 people. Just one day after the Orlando shooting, Smith
& Wesson, one of the largest gun manufacturers in the country
founded in 1852 in Springfield,MA had a 7 percent rise in their stock
has attended nineteen of these mass shootings since his tenure as
president. His twentieth was aborted the same day as the Orlando
shooting when Santa Monica police stopped a man with weapons heading
to L.A. gay pride parade.