ACLU lawyers blame 'Christian right,' GOP for Orlando terrorist attack
By Joel Gehrke (@Joelmentum) • 6/12/16 3:09 PM
Christian conservatives are responsible for the mass shooting at a gay bar in Orlando because they "created this anti-queer climate," according to American Civil Liberties Union attorneys.
"You know what is gross — your thoughts and prayers and Islamophobia after you created this anti-queer climate," ACLU staff attorney Chase Strangio tweeted on Sunday morning.
About 50 people were killed last night by Omar Mateen, a U.S. citizen born to Afghan parents suspected to have "leanings toward extreme Islamic ideologies." The FBI is investigating the attack as a "domestic terror incident."
But Strangio — who "spend[s his] life fighting Christian homophobia while being loved & supported by [his] Muslim family" — and his colleagues connected the shooting back to Christians and Republican politicians who oppose gay marriage. "The Christian Right has introduced 200 anti-LGBT bills in the last six months and people blaming Islam for this," Strangio tweeted. "No."
Another ACLU attorney who specializes in religious liberty issues scolded Republican lawmakers who tweeted out their condolences. "Remember when you co-sponsored extreme, anti-LGBT First Amendment Defense Act?" the ACLU's Eunice Rho tweeted at Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., and other Republicans,
House Speaker Paul Ryan was careful not to jump to conclusions about the attacker on Sunday morning. "We pray for those brutally attacked in Orlando," Ryan tweeted. "While we must learn more about the attacker, the victims & families will not be forgotten."
Strangio rebuffed that message as well. "But there will be no self-reflection and people like you will continue to fuel and embolden this type of hatred," he wrote in a retweet of Ryan's note.