Religion did play a role in Orlando massacre: just not the religion you think, say ACLU lawyers

Religion did play a role in Orlando massacre: just not the religion you think, say ACLU lawyers
Image: CBS News video screen grab

Several American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) attorneys took to Twitter to blame the “Christian Right” for Sunday’s deadly terrorist attack at a nightclub in Orlando, Fla., which left 50 dead and 53 injured.

Chase Strangio, a staff attorney with the ACLU’s LGBT and AIDS Project, claimed the social and political environment cultivated by Christian conservatives in recent months was to blame for the shooting at Pulse, a nightclub popular with Orlando’s LGBT community.

Strangio also called for solidarity between American Muslims and LGBT communities, arguing both are maligned and oppressed by the religious right.

Federal law enforcement officials have identified Omar Mateen, of Port St. Lucie, Fla., as the alleged shooter. Mateen’s father told NBC News his son harbored anti-gay sentiments and said his son gave voice to those feelings recently during a trip to Miami, where he saw two men kissing.

Another ACLU attorney, Eunice Hyon Min Rho, who specializes in election and religious liberty law, impugned the motives of Republican lawmakers who expressed sympathy for the victims, by pointing out many were sponsors of the First Amendment Defense Act, legislation the ACLU considers anti-LGBT.

She further characterized expressions of solidarity as “useless,” as many of the victims could be people of color, who she contends are regularly stigmatized by Republican legislators. Little demographic data is currently available about the victims, as many have not yet been identified.

She went on to retweet a user who claimed many public officials would use the auspices of an LGBT tragedy to pursue an “anti-Muslim agenda.”

The ACLU did not respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

This report, by Kevin Daley, was cross-posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.

LU Staff

LU Staff

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