As the Clergy Advocacy Board of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, we affirm this joint statement from Barbara A. Zdravecky, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida and Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
“The Planned Parenthood community deplores all acts of violence. While we continue to learn more about Sunday morning’s shooting in Orlando at Pulse, we know the effects of this senseless shooting are having powerful reverberations during Pride Month through the LGBTQ community. We also know that the Latino community is reeling from this tragedy along with the Muslim-American community. We stand in solidarity against acts of terrorism and hatred on individuals because of who they are or who they love. Enough is enough. We are overdue for serious steps to address the deplorable increase in gun violence that has led to deaths in every corner of our country.
Our hearts and thoughts are with the family and loved ones of the victims, the Orlando community, the LGBTQ community, as we grieve this morning’s horrific tragedy."
We offer prayers for the family and friends still searching for news at hospitals and sympathy for those who have lost loved ones to this horrific act of hate. We stand in solidarity with the many community leaders in Florida and across the United States who will be providing pastoral care, funerals, and counsel to devastated communities and congregations. And we call upon all people of conscience to hold our elected state and national representatives accountable for instituting commonsense gun safety measures that will help reduce incidents of violence in our country.
As clergy of faiths including Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, we are committed to standing tall and proudly with LGBTQ people and their allies from all faith traditions to end homophobia and transphobia.
As pastors to victims of sudden tragedy and their loved ones, we are well acquainted with the need for our continuing emotional and spiritual support. We call for laws and policies advancing and strengthening access to mental health services, community support, and spiritual counsel to help individuals impacted by violence.