In the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Fla., we mourn the tragic loss of life. We hold in our hearts the families and friends whose grief is devastating and loss is beyond words. Yet again, we are sickened by the deadly confluence of hatred coupled with powerful weapons turned against innocent human beings.

We stand in solidarity with our GLBTQ family, friends and neighbors. We affirm that our faith communities are safe and loving places where people are accepted for exactly who they are. No matter how you identify your sexual orientation, you are loved.

We further call for an end to rhetoric that demonizes same-gender-loving people. Our words matter and have consequences. This latest tragedy is not the first time the GLBTQ community has been the target of violence. We must end homophobia in our hearts, our communities and our country.

While we grieve, stand in solidarity, and urge an end to homophobia, we also pledge to work with people of good will in every faith community to end gun violence. We remain committed to peace in our communities.

 

-Rev. Lauren Lorincz, Pilgrim Congregational Church UCC

-Rev. Paul Shupe, Hancock United Church of Christ

-Rev. Barbara Callaghan, Hancock United Church of Christ

-Rabbi Jill Perlman, Temple Isaiah

-Rev. Cynthia Good, Lexington United Methodist Church

-Rev. Kate Ekrem, Church of Our Redeemer, Episcopal

-Rev. Claire Feingold Thoryn, Follen Community Church, Unitarian Universalist