June 21, 2016
Issue: Fighting Bigotry
65 LGBTQ and Muslim Groups Unite Against Hate & Bigotry
Unity Statement Responds to Efforts to Divide Americans in Wake of Orlando Shooting
In an unprecedented act of solidarity, 65 American Muslim and LGBTQ organizations joined together today to send a clear message in the wake of the Orlando shooting: that love and unity are powerful tools against those who seek to divide Americans using fear and hate. Signatories to the joint statement include Muslim Advocates, National LGBTQ Task Force, Muslim Public Affairs Council, Human Rights Campaign, Emerge USA, American Civil Liberties Union LGBT Project, American Muslim Health Professionals, Equality Florida, Muslim Alliance for Sexual and Gender Diversity, and the Coalition of South Florida Muslim Organizations (COSMOS).
“Sadly, in the aftermath of the horrific shooting targeting the LGBTQ community, we have seen efforts to divide Americans and stoke fear and hatred against entire groups of people,” said Farhana Khera, executive director of Muslim Advocates. “This unity statement by LGBTQ and Muslim organizations urges all Americans to recognize that we are stronger together and that the Muslim, LGBTQ and Latino communities have shared identities, struggles and dreams.”
The joint statement draws inspiration from the overwhelming display of solidarity and resilience after the shooting—from the long lines of diverse Floridians lining up to donate blood, to the first responders who ran towards harm to help wounded victims and prevent more carnage. It also recognizes that there are some who use fear and hate to divide Americans against each other and increase surveillance of entire communities, based solely on how they look or how they pray.
“We stand together and are one family — because being Muslim and LGBTQ aren’t mutually exclusive,” said Russell Roybal, deputy executive director of National LGBTQ Task Force.
“It’s time for our country to come together following the horrific shooting in Orlando. Too many politicians are trying to pit the Muslim and LGBTQ communities against each other,” said David Stacy, government affairs director of the Human Rights Campaign. “We reject the politics of division and are proud to stand together as one community, Muslim and LGBTQ, against bias-motivated violence against all of our communities.”
The statement was also signed individually by Dr. Ingrid Mattson and Evan Wolfson, prominent leaders in the Muslim and LGBTQ communities respectively.
To read the full statement and list of signatories, click here.
You can also read the letter in Arabic, French, and Spanish.
Muslim Advocates is a national legal advocacy and educational organization working on the frontlines of civil rights to guarantee freedom and justice for Americans of all faiths. Through high impact lawsuits, policy advocacy, and community education, Muslim Advocates serves as a resource to empower communities and ensures that the American Muslim community is heard by the courts and leaders at the highest level of government. Visit Muslim Advocates at https://muslimadvocates.org and follow @muslimadvocates.