We at Outreach pray for the eternal rest of the five people who were murdered last night at Club Q, an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colo. We pray that God consoles their family and friends. We pray for the recovery of 18 people who were injured in the shooting. And we pray for the LGBTQ community in Colorado Springs.
At this point, the motive for this terrible attack on LGBTQ people remains unclear. The shooting happened the day before Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day when we commemorate transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of violence. Last night, Club Q was planning to host a drag show to mark the day.
What is clear, however, is the effect that stigmatizing language has on the safety and well-being of LGBTQ people. Language that seeks to reject, condemn, isolate, blame or target LGBTQ people should be rejected, especially by religious leaders.
Such language leads only to further harassment, beatings and violence. Churches and other religious institutions are called to stand on the side of all who are in any way persecuted, including LGBTQ people.
Today the Catholic Church marks the Solemnity of Christ, the King of the Universe, when our Gospel reading tells the story of how Jesus was brutally executed on a Cross, and while being executed was “jeered at” by the crowds (Luke 23:25-43).
Here we see a God who comes to be with all people, but especially those who are marginalized, those who are mocked and those who are the victims of any kind of violence. Christ stands in the center of Club Q, united with all his brothers and sisters and siblings.