LGBT activists say Orlando shooting should be used to promote their political agenda
ORLANDO, June 17, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – The world paused to mourn the terrorist attack in Orlando this week, but some LGBT activists are complaining that politicians have used the tragedy to promote the wrong political agenda.
LGBT leaders say the mass shooting at the gay nightclub, which killed 49 people, should have been used to pressure communities to add LGBT people to civil rights legislation – a proposal that, for instance, would require public accommodations to allow members of one biological sex to use the intimate facilities of the opposite sex.
Following the weekend tragedy, Donald Trump gave a major speech on Monday about his proposal to temporarily halt all Muslim immigration into the United States. President Obama and Democrats have highlighted tighter gun control measures. Congressman Jim Himes, D-CT, refused to take part in a Congressional moment of silence to honor the victims of the shooting, instead saying lawmakers needed to pass legislation to curb "gun violence."
But so far, the shooting has been little used by politicians to promote LGBT bills, such as the Equality Act, which critics have warned would endanger religious liberty.
"As opposed to the non-discrimination discussion, we’ve moved right into the other issues,” said Rep. Charlie Dent, a Pennsylvania Republican who reliably votes for the liberal position on abortion and other social issues.
So far, Sen. Bob Casey, D-PA, introduced a bill banning anyone guilty of committing a hate crime from owning guns.
“No gun law would have stopped this killer,” said Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel. “Timothy McVeigh used common fertilizer to kill 168 people and injure more than 600 people.”
“Christians, religious liberty laws, conservative leaders, and the bathroom bills had nothing to do with Omar Mateen's massacre of innocent people,” he said.
But some want the shooting to be remembered as an attack specifically against homosexuals, first and foremost. Earlier this week actress Raven-Symone objected that the shooting had been thought of as an act of terror.
“I consider this a hate crime, then a terrorist act, then horribleness to America in general, but this a hate crime,” Symonè said. “How come other people are making it other things before?”
“It needs to be categorized as a hate crime first,” she said on “The View.”
Omar Mateen pledged his allegiance to the Islamic State before carrying out the worst act of terrorism on U.S. soil since 9/11.
A further complication for the narrative that the shooting was an anti-LGBT hate crime is that Mateen – who also died in the shootout on Sunday morning – may have been a homosexual. He visited the Pulse club and other gay bars dozens of times over years, used a homosexual dating app, and asked a male classmate out on a date.
"The truth just gets in the way of those intent on using this tragedy to distort reality,” Staver said. "Deal with the facts of this tragedy and do not use it to promote false statements or political agendas.”
The political battle over the cause of, and cure for, acts of jihad by American-born Islamic fundamentalists continues to rage as the two parties approach their nominating conventions in Cleveland and Philadelphia this summer.
The nation's leading homosexual political organization, Human Rights Council, conjoined the two issues in a resolution that calls for legislation adding LGBT individuals to civil rights legislation and “common-sense gun safety reform within the United States.”
“We believe that lawmakers behind these bills -- with their hateful and dangerous words and actions -- eliminate critical protections and give license to others to harass, threaten and terrorize LGBTQ people,” the resolution reads.
Some have objected to the politicization of grief.
“Now is the time to pray and offer support in the wake of this calamity," Staver said. “Stop using this tragedy to promote self-interest and political agendas.”