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LGBTI groups and figures respond to the New Zealand mosque mass shooting

LGBTI groups and figures respond to the New Zealand mosque mass shooting

Christchurch, New Zealand police and authorities

LGBTI groups, celebrities, and figures are responding to the mass shooting that happened in Christchurch, New Zealand on Friday (14 March).

New Zealand police arrested and charged a 28-year-old man in connection to the shooting. They also have two other suspects in custody.

A gunman opened fire at the Al Noor Mosque in Christchuch, the largest city in the country’s South Island, and killed at least 41 people. About three miles away, there was a second shooting at Linwood Mosque. This shooting left seven dead.

A final victim died on the way to the hospital.

The man charged with the crimes is a self-identified white man from Australia. Prior to the shooting, he posted a 74-page manifesto filled with anti-immigrant and white nationalist ideas. He also live-streamed the shooting.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister responds

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the shooting was one of the country’s ‘darkest days’.

‘We were not chosen for this act of violence because we condone racism, because we are an enclave for extremism,’ she said during a news conference. ‘We were chosen for the very fact that we are none of these things. Because we represent diversity, kindness, compassion, a home for those who share our values, refuge for those who need it.’

Ardern continued: ‘Many of those who will have been directly affected by this shooting may be migrants to New Zealand. They may even be refugees here. They have chosen to make New Zealand their home, and it is their home.’

Her statement concluded: ‘They are us. The person who has perpetuated this violence against us is not.’

HRC, GLAAd, and more speak out

GLAAD wrote in a tweet their ‘hearts break for the Muslim community’.

‘We mourn the loss of life of peaceful worshippers in last night’s unconscionable, hate-fueled violence in New Zealand,’ the ACLU wrote.

Planned Parenthood tweeted ‘we all deserve to live free from fear and violence’.

Stonewall UK wrote ‘it’s more important than ever to stand together in solidarity’.

Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin released a statement about the attack.

‘We are heartbroken and outraged by this terrorist attack on Muslims in places of worship, and we mourn for the victims and their families,’ he said.

‘Hate violence against Muslims is a global epidemic, fueled by the toxic combination of Islamaphobia and xenophobia that has led to tragedies here in the United States and in nations around the world. […] Now is a time to be united against hate — not engage in the “both sides” rhetoric that only serves to legitimize extremists.’

He continued: ‘On this day, and every day, we join in solidarity with the Muslim community, including LGBTQ Muslims, to honor the victims of hate-fueled violence with action and to combat hate and bigotry in all of its forms.’

‘Woke up to the most heartbreaking news imaginable’

Other LGBTI individuals responded to the news.

Singer Troye Sivan wrote that he was ‘sick to his stomach’.

Sivan was born in South Africa, but moved to Australia when he was two and grew up in Perth.

Gay Senator Tammy Baldwin:

Gay journalist Kyle Buchanan was in the country when the shooting happened and said he was ‘heart broken, soul heavy’.

Several Democratic presidential candidates also tweeted about the attack.

Pete Buttigieg, the only openly gay candidate, wrote simply: ‘White nationalism kills.’

See also

Is a neo-Nazi group behind the rise of anti-LGBTI attacks in Portland?

United Nations tells New Zealand to do more for LGBTI rights