ORINDA, CA, June 12, 2016—
Today our hearts are broken hearing of the act of domestic terror on LGBTQ people at the gay nightclub, Pulse, in Orlando, Florida, earlier today. We are holding our LGBTQ brothers and sisters in Orlando close in our hearts. We do not yet know if any Kinship members were affected.
Unfortunately, this is another chapter in a long history of violence against queer people in the United States. This senseless violence is almost unimaginable. It is especially heartbreaking that this attack happened during Pride Month. Pride is still relevant because it is a time for us as a community to remember our collective resistance against discrimination and violence. Pride is when we march for our dignity and equal rights, to increase our visibility, and to celebrate our sexual diversity and gender variance. Pride Month is a time for spiritual communities to celebrate a loving God who created LGBTQ people in God’s likeness and image, and to see ourselves as beloved children of God.
"Yesterday, Kinship Region 2 marched in the Capital Pride Parade in DC, never dreaming we'd awaken to such devastating news as the heartbreaking tragedy in Orlando, Florida. Doing our part to prevent violence of action or of word means standing against all manner of hate from society, from the pulpit and from families who would discard their sons or daughters for being LGBTQ. Our community and our allies and friends can make a difference against such hate, together" said SDA Kinship International President, Yolanda Elliott.
We pray for an end of violence against LGBTQ people. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and families of this tragedy. We mourn together.