The Sisters of Mercy of the Americas join in prayer for the victims of the mass shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs. We mourn the lives of the five murdered and pray for the recovery of all those injured and ask for consolation for all those who love and loved them.
This horrific attack was carried out in a place that was a safe haven, where community was formed and valued by the members of the LGBTQ community in Colorado Springs.
Catholic social teaching unconditionally condemns violence against LGBTQ people. The Sisters of Mercy encourages all Catholic leaders and leaders of other faith-based communities and organizations to stand in solidarity with LGBTQ communities by advocating for an end to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity and working to end homophobic violence that takes innocent lives.
It is not lost on us that this attack came during Transgender Awareness Week and hours before Sunday’s International Transgender Day of Remembrance, when events around the world are held to mourn and remember transgender people lost to violence.
At least 32 transgender or gender nonconforming individuals have been killed this year in the United States alone. Most were killed with a gun, and more than half were Black trans women.
Fueled by the obsession in the United States with access to high powered weapons perpetuated by a climate of hate towards the most vulnerable, these individuals have been killed and countless others are now living in greater fear. The proliferation of anti-LGBTQ rhetoric, acts of intimidation and the increase in anti-LGBTQ legislation have put the lives of the already marginalized at greater risk.
We must not forget the lives lost and the spirits and hearts broken by this senseless and evil act, and we call on all Catholic leaders and leaders of all faith-based communities to condemn this violence, and we renew our call on state legislatures and Congress to enact more comprehensive laws limiting access to deadly weapons.
Specifically, we urge members of the Senate to hold a Senate vote on the Assault Weapons Ban passed by the House in July. We also ask Congress to pass the Disarm Hate Act to close a dangerous loophole allowing people convicted of violent hate crimes access to weapons. We must all also continue to work at local levels to address the public health crisis of gun violence in this country.
The Institute Leadership Team