Oldest Interfaith Organization in the US Affirms Solidarity with the LGBTQ+ Community in the Wake of Deadly Attack in Colorado

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Ariel Gold | FOR-USA executive director | arielgold@forusa.org | 510 599 5330

Sunday, November 20, 2022 – In the wake of a mass shooting at the Club Q nightclub in Colorado, the oldest interfaith peace and justice organization in the US, 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, CO when a gunman opened fire in an LGBTQ+ nightclub. Although the police have not yet announced a motive, 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 US’s ongoing gun violence epidemic 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 became 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 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 when we formed, we today conscientiously object to homophobia, transphobia, and all other forms of hatred,” said Gold. “As Rev. Jason Carson Wilson said 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+ hated and pledges to confront Christian nationalism in the US 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.”

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