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LGBT+ Against Islamophobia: Statement on Orlando attacks

Monday 13 June 2016

This statement by the British-based group “LGBT+ Against Islamophobia” was issued after the Orlando attacks. It is on their Facebook page.

"Our sympathy and solidarity go out to the victims, their families and friends after the horrific attack at an LGBT nightclub in Orlando.

It is a stark reminder that despite the many gains in attitudes and legislation that have been made over the last decades, LGBT+ people continue to face threats of violence and murder. We do not yet know anything about the attacker. The FBI have been quick to declare the incident ‘terrorist’ and whilst they claim to be pursuing ‘multiple leads’ the only organisation named for ‘possible links’ is ISIS.

We in LGBT+ Against Islamophobia will oppose any attempt to use this atrocity to whip up hatred against Muslims.

For many of us the massacre will bring back memories of the bombing of the Admiral Duncan pub in Soho in 1999, carried out by a British Neo-Nazi. We will be reminded of the dreadful shootings carried out by the self-proclaimed fascist Anders Brevik in Norway in 2011, and numerous gun-related mass killings conducted by white Christians in America.

This should be a time for us all to come together and reject homophobia and transphobia wherever it comes from.

Murderous homophobes, from any religion or none, do not represent entire communities. If we allow ourselves to be divided now we will be weakened in our fight to eradicate oppression – a fight that now more than ever needs to continue."

Supported by:

Nicola Field, Jonathan Blake & Nigel Young, original members of Lesbian & Gaymen Support the Miners; Pauline Park, New York Association for Gender Rights Advocacy (NYAGRA) Dimitra Kyrillou, LGBTQ Antarsya; April Holcombe and Clare Francis LGBTI officers for the National Union of Students of Australia; Aimee Challenor, LGBTIQ Green Party; Annette Pryce LGBT+ Executive Member National Union of Teachers; John Molyneux, Editor Irish Marxist Review; Julia Bard on behalf of the Jewish Socialists’ Group; Jennifer Yoder, Communications and Engagement Director, Christian Peacemaker Teams; Kevin Ovenden, writer and activist; Edwin Sesange, Out and Proud Diamond Group; Hesham Shafiq; Antony Hamilton, Vice President of West Thames College Student Union; Kauser Jan chair of West Yorkshire Muslim community safety forum; Mike Dance (NUT); Geoff Dexter, Birmingham Stand Up to Racism; Sue Caldwell, LGBT+ Against Islamophobia London; Nahella Ashraf, Manchester Stand up to Racism; Sue Talbot, Unison & of SWAN (Social Work Action Network); Memet Uludag, Convener United Against Racism Ireland; David Karvala, a spokesperson of Unitat contra el feixisme i el racisme, Catalonia; Edwin Sesange, Out and Proud Diamond Group; Keran James, studio1.1 London; Jubilate Klatsch, Feminists of Dublin meetup; LGBT rep UCU National Executive and former Chair of UCU Equality Committee; John Burgess Branch Secretary Barnet Unison; Laney Walsh UNISON Redditch and Bromsgrove; Rhiannon Lockley, West Midlands Chair UCU; Paul Phillips NUT rep; Melissa Hind NUT; Ken Muller, Joint Secretary, Islington NUT; Kate Mayer (GMB); Sara Bennett, Unite union (GPM/IT) member; Bernie Maguire, UNISON and Musicians Union; Joe Carolan, Unite Union New Zealand; Rebecca Bryson, Unison Sheffield Teaching Hospitals; Andrea Morrall, Unison Sheffield Community Health; Rory Shannon - UNISON University of Birmingham Branch; Sharon Campion, Joint Branch Secretary Sandwell Unison West Midlands; Sojourner Mayer (school student); Alex Claxton-Mayer (NUS); Eleanor Claxton-Mayer (NUS); Bethan Turner (NUS); Leon Thomas (NUS).

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