A Sorrowful Pride Day

The Washington Blade thinks Donald Trump represents the greatest threat to LGBT lives and liberties.

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton claim laws restricting gun ownership will keep firearms out the hands of murderous jihadis (they don’t, of course, actually believe this). As Glenn Reynolds writes:

Gun control is much stricter in Europe, but that hasn’t stopped mass shootings like the ones at Charlie Hebdo’s offices or at the Bataclan concert hall. (It’s also very strict in California, but that didn’t stop the shootings at San Bernardino.) Talking about gun control is mostly a way of avoiding a tough problem.

The killer was able to could acquire his weaponry because he was a licensed security guard, making the claim that more gun restrictions would “prevent” such crimes all the more grossly disingenuous. But if a few of the patrons had been carrying, and perhaps members of the Pink Pistols, they could have defended themselves (but hey, only the state should be allowed to defend people, right, right).

And this: Virtually all mass shootings happen in “gun-free” zones.

National Public Radio said there are conflicting reports over whether the shooter was motivated by loyalty to Islamic State (as the police report) or hatred of gays (as his father states), as if the two didn’t go together.

The Log Cabin Republicans get to the point:

“It’s no secret that abroad men who are gay — and merely suspected of being gay — are targeted for execution; today, that threat has reached the United States. … If the shooter’s suspected motivations are indeed confirmed, we call upon President Obama and the presumptive nominees of both parties to condemn the attacker and acknowledge in no uncertain terms the cause of this massacre: Radical Islamic terrorism.”

More. James Taranto in the Wall Street Journal:

But the point is, the Islamic terrorist who carried out the deadliest attack in America since 9/11 chose as his target a sexual minority. Such an atrocity posed a test for those on the multicultural left: Would they see clearly the threat of Islamic terrorism when it targeted a minority whose interests they vigorously champion against far lesser threats?

For the most part the answer was no. [Slate’s Mark Stern] turned his rhetorical fire on the near enemy, in a piece titled “Republicans Are Erasing LGBTQ People From Their Own Tragedy.” He specifically faulted Marco Rubio and Mike Huckabee for tweeting sympathy for the victims without noting that most of them were gay (or, as Stern again put it, “LBGTQ people”).

Stern ignored Donald Trump, who in a statement put the matter straightforwardly: “Radical Islam advocates hate for women, gays, Jews, Christians and all Americans. I am going to be a President for all Americans, and I am going to protect and defend all Americans.” He also ignored Ted Cruz, who, according to Politico, “called on Democrats as ‘loud champions of the gay and lesbian community’ to denounce ‘an ideology that calls for the murder of gays and lesbians.’ ”

Furthermore. ACLU Blames—Wait for It—’Conservative Christians’ for Orlando.

24 Comments for “A Sorrowful Pride Day”

  1. posted by Lori Heine on

    I’ve been wondering when this would happen. The only surprise is that it’s taken so long. But of course it’s not the last time.

    We can count on the frauds on teams Tweedledee and Tweedledum to lie about it. IGF probably won’t hyperventilate about the fact that the Repubs aren’t going to tell the truth about what’s happening, either.

    I’m totally over both teams. Screw them both. They’ve given us the epic presidential election battle of Grandma Cankles and Annoying Orange. Neither one deserves one more moment of anybody’s respect or attention.

    • posted by TJ on

      Wow. A horrific national tragedy happens, and folks are already lining up with standard talking point narrative. I have lost respect for much of the press and quite a few people — on both sides of the aisle.

      Let us deal with the facts, and maybe, just maybe, show a bit of compassion, civility and tact.

      1. Yes, LGBT people are targeted for bias motivated crimes in the United States and globally. Quite a few LGBT people and straight allies have been talking about LGBT rights within a global context — some of them speak better then others, but Stephen seems to feel that people are not talking about international human policy. Today, most of the major multi-issue, international human rights organizations have dealt with LGBT rights. Amnesty International and the Human Rights Watch have written and spoken about LGBT rights (along the International Lesbian and Gay Association) and will continue to do so.

      2. Human rights NGOs (non-government organizations) are rarely in a position to shape human rights policy, at least directly. Globally, NGOs that deal with LGBT rights often have difficulty in being allowed to exist, and, if they are lucky, may find some lukewarm support among some feminist, AIDS/HIV, social workers, mental health professionals or some green or some leftist or moderately progressive political parties or groups.

      3. Within the United States else, the legal and social situation has improved greatly, albeit relatively recently. You can still raise money and get elected by fueling the flames of hatred in America, and how successful people are in getting civil right laws passed, and enforced, is very much dependent on what State or region you are talking about. If you travel to strong, “red” States or regions, you are much less likely to find LGBT civil right laws on the books (let alone enforced) and LGBT people find it much harder to raise money, engage the broader community or build broad based political coalitions. It also becomes much easier for people to demonize LGBT people or pretend that they only exist in the big city or in Hollywood.

      4. Gun laws will probably not change too much, unless a lot of swing voters (especially outside of the rural population) become really afraid of being the victim of violent crime. I have zero problem with a person having one gun or a million guns.

      I do have a problem when people who clearly should not have guns (because of violent criminal record or serious mental illnesses) get guns. Why? Because, the people misuse guns (violating the rights of other people or public safety) are almost always people with a violent criminal record or a serious mental illness. People that simply like guns, like to hunt (perhaps even a bit obsessed about it), are not generally a threat to other people’s rights or public safety.

      I would like gun control laws to be about protecting my rights, promoting personal responsibility and public safety. How such laws should be written or whatever, if something that we should be able to talk about like adults (as opposed to “all gun owners are bad” or “how dare you tell me that I can’t do whatever the hell I want.”)

    • posted by TJ on

      I think that Israel has strict gun laws, and some have said that this made it harder for one man to kill that many people with a assault weapon.

      Again, I skeptical of how the gun control debate narrative plays out.

      The NRA used to back gun control until it was taken over by extreamists.

      Some gun control advocates seem to look down on all gun owners.

  2. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    Disgusting. At a time when just about every decent person on the planet is expressing deep sorrow, standing with the LGBT community, Orlando and our country, The President Presumptive is tweeting self-congratulations, LCR is exploiting the tragedy as a wedge issue, and Stephen is, once again, mischaracterizing the President’s statement. Shame.

    For those interested in the President’s statement:

    Today, as Americans, we grieve the brutal murder — a horrific massacre — of dozens of innocent people. We pray for their families, who are grasping for answers with broken hearts. We stand with the people of Orlando, who have endured a terrible attack on their city. Although it’s still early in the investigation, we know enough to say that this was an act of terror and an act of hate. And as Americans, we are united in grief, in outrage, and in resolve to defend our people.

    I just finished a meeting with FBI Director Comey and my homeland security and national security advisors. The FBI is on the scene and leading the investigation, in partnership with local law enforcement. I’ve directed that the full resources of the federal government be made available for this investigation.

    We are still learning all the facts. This is an open investigation. We’ve reached no definitive judgment on the precise motivations of the killer. The FBI is appropriately investigating this as an act of terrorism. And I’ve directed that we must spare no effort to determine what — if any — inspiration or association this killer may have had with terrorist groups. What is clear is that he was a person filled with hatred. Over the coming days, we’ll uncover why and how this happened, and we will go wherever the facts lead us.

    This morning I spoke with my good friend, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, and I conveyed the condolences of the entire American people. This could have been any one of our communities. So I told Mayor Dyer that whatever help he and the people of Orlando need — they are going to get it. As a country, we will be there for the people of Orlando today, tomorrow and for all the days to come.

    We also express our profound gratitude to all the police and first responders who rushed into harm’s way. Their courage and professionalism saved lives, and kept the carnage from being even worse. It’s the kind of sacrifice that our law enforcement professionals make every single day for all of us, and we can never thank them enough.

    This is an especially heartbreaking day for all our friends — our fellow Americans — who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. The shooter targeted a nightclub where people came together to be with friends, to dance and to sing, and to live. The place where they were attacked is more than a nightclub — it is a place of solidarity and empowerment where people have come together to raise awareness, to speak their minds, and to advocate for their civil rights.

    So this is a sobering reminder that attacks on any American — regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation — is an attack on all of us and on the fundamental values of equality and dignity that define us as a country. And no act of hate or terror will ever change who we are or the values that make us Americans.

    Today marks the most deadly shooting in American history. The shooter was apparently armed with a handgun and a powerful assault rifle. This massacre is therefore a further reminder of how easy it is for someone to get their hands on a weapon that lets them shoot people in a school, or in a house of worship, or a movie theater, or in a nightclub. And we have to decide if that’s the kind of country we want to be. And to actively do nothing is a decision as well.

    In the coming hours and days, we’ll learn about the victims of this tragedy. Their names. Their faces. Who they were. The joy that they brought to families and to friends, and the difference that they made in this world. Say a prayer for them and say a prayer for their families — that God give them the strength to bear the unbearable. And that He give us all the strength to be there for them, and the strength and courage to change. We need to demonstrate that we are defined more — as a country — by the way they lived their lives than by the hate of the man who took them from us.

    As we go together, we will draw inspiration from heroic and selfless acts — friends who helped friends, took care of each other and saved lives. In the face of hate and violence, we will love one another. We will not give in to fear or turn against each other. Instead, we will stand united, as Americans, to protect our people, and defend our nation, and to take action against those who threaten us.

  3. posted by Jorge on

    I cannot agree with your interpretation of Trump’s tweet, Tom. I take the tweet at its word that he was responding to his supporters going “Yeah, you told ’em so!” and “You the man!” and trying to steer them in a different direction.

    I think it is extremely unrealistic for you to expect that in response to an incident with 50 fatalities that raises no fewer than three hot-button issues favored by very different constituencies, that politically minded people are going to refrain from saying things that you find exploitative and shameful. One of my old History professors had a saying, “Blood speaks with a powerful voice.” But this attack does much to confirm very opposing political priorities. I also think the linked statement by LCR gets things exactly right. I also was annoyed by President Obama almost crossing into “I told you so” territory on gun control (but I think he did good enough). It is entirely reasonable for people to combine their pre-existing ideology with the lethality of the event and come to the logical conclusion that flows from both–that there is an urgency to advance their own version of good government. President Bush changed his ideology after 9/11. That’s not common.

    There was a guest on Fox News today who said that he thinks the gay community should consider that their friends are not the Muslim community, but rather those who perhaps do not like the Supreme Court decision on gay marriage but who have a certain foreign or national security policy. I don’t think that commentator realized exactly what it is he was asking the gay community to do, for it is for exactly that reason that I once gave money to and voted for Rick Santorum for president when there was literally no other neoconservative running. This year the neocons ran straight into the toilet and now we’re stuck trying to guess whether Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton is more of a neocon. Perhaps if more Republicans with fewer credibility problems were to speak about gay rights more often, their party would do better in the general election, and their opposing party would discuss these tensions more openly.


    Every so often I get the feeling it’s important to “do something” for public service or a higher purpose. I’ve been feeling that sense for a couple of days now, and now this. I have work to do. It is an unhappy thing when the only out person likely to be in the room is well to the right of the gay community’s political center (granted, in my borough even the gays are more socially conservative than the rest of the city). It seems I must accept my destiny. My country and community must be called upon to demonstrate their wisdom and judgment once again.

    I am sure that as the president says, in the coming days I will come to learn more about the people who have been unjustly slain.

    • posted by Doug on

      Trump’s self congratulatory tweet was his first tweet. That says it all for me. His first tweet should have been about those lost not ‘self congratulatory’. Trump is the narcissist-in-chief and it’s disgusting. The man thinks of no one but himself.

    • posted by TJ on

      Within the context of electoral politics, Trump policy on LGBT rights ain’t good. His foreign policy, for what can be called such, ain’t likely going to promote LGBT rights on a global level.

      Frankly, Hillary Clinton comes off as being more hawkish on foreign policy, and she does actually run a campaign talking about policy. I’m just saying…..

      Again, gun control ain’t really gonna change because it’s mostly a regional split and less of a partisan split. Whether or not a particular set of public safety rules would have prevented the attack is a bit premature to dive into.

      Likewise, telling everyone who goes to a nightclub – where alcohol might be in the mix – to carry a gun, is not really a practical solution. Beyond, the fact that night club owners may not want customers “packing heat.”

  4. posted by Houndentenor on

    I’m not quite sure who I’m more revolted by today. Here are my options.

    1. Anti-gay religious bigots dancing on the not-yet-dug graves of 50 gay men.

    2. NRA-owned members of Congress who voted down a bill that would have kept a terrorist from buying an assault rifle but chose not to, but who now are now exploiting the deaths of gay men (whose rights they vocally and vehemently oppose) for their own political purposes.

    3. Muslim apologists who can’t bring themselves to admit that fundamentalist versions of any religion inevitably lead to violence like this.

    So take your pick. I’m sick of all of them.

    • posted by Houndentenor on

      P.S. I spent 9/11 trying to find out where all my friends where and if they were still alive. I spent this morning doing the same thing. That’s not something I would wish on anyone. So I have little patience for all the morons capitalizing on our nation’s largest mass shooting. or people claiming that religion isn’t really the problem because it most certainly is. Or people suddenly pretending they care about gay people when their entire record is anti-gay. I wish I believed in hell today so I could tell them all to go there.

      • posted by Jorge on


        I think the problem is more along the lines of they think they’re the only people on the right who aren’t pretending to care about gay people.

        They silence everyone else on the right who dares say anything pro-gay that is not of sufficient purity, which results in the right not saying anything. That’s it, now!

        • posted by Houndentenor on

          Purity? These are people who fight against any gay rights, who not only still complain about Obergefell but about the Lawrence decision. Purity? The problem isn’t that they aren’t pure; it’s that they are filthy.

          • posted by Lori Heine on

            This is a matter of degree. Yes, the radical Islamists are worse than the religious right. That’s because most people in the West won’t let them do the things the Islamists do. The rhetoric of some of these wingnuts leaves no doubt that they would do worse if they thought they could get away with it.

            I’m just sick of the politicizing. I have friends who knew some of the people who died in Orlando. This is personal.

            As far as I’m concerned, screw everybody who politicizes this–left or right. I’m going to be unfriending quite a few people on Facebook. This gamesmanship makes me want to throw up. Human beings died here. There sure are a lot of people out there without one shred of decency.

            This is simply a sad weekend. I just want to leave my observations there.

    • posted by JohnInCA on

      Hey, I’m constantly told that I can’t blame Christianity (as a whole) for what Christians (as individuals) do.

      So I don’t think it’s fair to expect me to blame Islam (as a whole) for what Muslims (as individuals) do.

  5. posted by Tom Scharbach on


    Just keep pounding the drum, Stephen.

  6. posted by TJ on

    Their is a very good episode of West Wing where their is a “lock down” at the White House., which I feel has a relevant point. During this lock down, “Josh” (and the other characters) is with a group of high school students who are visiting the White House (as a reward for their scholarly work in American history, politics.) Many points in the episode are worth noting.

    Violent Islamic fundamentalists — individuals or groups — are the KKK of Islam.

    The KKK (and similar groups) were once a powerful and well-financed “radical Christianity” movement in America. They were not simply racist and bigoted people. They were not simply stalling civil rights legislation and helping to pass bad laws/court opinions.

    If the KKK did not like your race, your ethnicity, your religion, your sexual orientation or your political opinions, they perfectly willing to kill you. People forget that the KKK believed that its violence, its intimidation and outright murder was doing “God’s work”.

    The KKK (and other such groups) have much less money and power then they did, largely because of a strong national commitment to protecting civil rights and successful lawsuits against terrorist groups, like the KKK.

    When the Federal government began to investigate the murder of civil rights supporters, we did not ban Christians from coming to America and we didn’t curtail people’s First Amendment rights (in fact, quite a bit of strong First Amendment case law come out of Supreme Court opinions in the 1950s and 1960s)

  7. posted by Jorge on

    “He specifically faulted Marco Rubio and Mike Huckabee for tweeting sympathy for the victims without noting that most of them were gay (or, as Stern again put it, “LBGTQ people”).”

    A fault quickly corrected in Rubio’s case, within less than two hours at worst. I have no interest in defending Huckabee.

    I didn’t immediately know it had a gay angle. I would cut people at least two hours of slack.

    Trump’s self congratulatory tweet was his first tweet. . . . His first tweet should have been about those lost not ‘self congratulatory’.

    It’s hard to argue with that, but you make such a good point I think it is worth asking you to take it further.

    Why should the first response to a terrorist attack be sadness? Why not resolve? Why not anger? Why not righteous indignation?

    How is Trump’s tweet any more narcisisstic and disgusting than the NY Daily News’s front page headline plastering fault on the National Rifle Association? Is it really because he didn’t go down on his knees instead of taking up a sword? Or is it because one expression of righteous anger is politically correct and another same expression is politically incorrect?

    I believe this criticism of Trump will go nowhere. Once again, the public discussion is trying to critique a politics of boorishness, not realizing the so-called genteelness is really a cover for a politics that has an arrogant, “I know better than you” character in both style and substance.

    Sure, the bastard’s going to hell, but 1) so are a lot of other men, and 2) he can be a big help in the meantime.

    Purity? These are people who fight against any gay rights…

    That’s close to what I meant.

    who not only still complain about Obergefell but about the Lawrence decision.

    Which far-right people who pretend to care about gay people are still complaining about Lawrence? Pope Permanent Medical Leave?

    Oh, dear, I think I probably stumbled on it.

    Houndentenor, some of our political enemies will always be our enemies. There are Ku Klux Klan murderers who died only this century. Some of those who opposed gay rights in the previous century saying homosexuality is a choice will fall still saying and believing it. When evil is overthrown, it very often happens that remnants survive with a few more chances to refuse atonement. To make or offer a decision to atone is an evil act because it acknowledges the right of that individual to survive to that point. The alternative is darker.

    This is simply a sad weekend. I just want to leave my observations there.


  8. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    Furthermore. ACLU Blames—Wait for It—’Conservative Christians’ for Orlando.

    A Twitter post by a young staff attorney doing low-level legal work with the ACLU, writing on his private Twitter account that clearly states “Views are my own.” is transformed, in StephenWorld™, to “ACLU Blames—Wait for It—’Conservative Christians’ for Orlando.”

    Your brain doesn’t appear to be working at all anymore. You really need to get a job with Breitbart.

    • posted by Jorge on

      Given a recent disagreement, the part of me that enjoys arguing about politics would not have waited for Tom to post if I thought I could the nail the ACLU on playing politics.

      Wait for someone more official to say something. But with most of the people here feeling heartsick, I wouldn’t trust even its executive director Anthony Romero’s word.

      Let’s find out!


      June 12, 2016
      “We stand in solidarity with the LGBT community, which appears to have been the target of this attack. Our thoughts are with those who lost loved ones and with the entire suffering Central Florida community.

      “As we come together to heal from this tragedy, we must also continue to stand against any reaction to this horrific event that is rooted in hatred or bigotry in any form. We remain in solidarity with the Muslim community here in Florida and elsewhere.”

  9. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    The killer was able to could acquire his weaponry because he was a licensed security guard, making the claim that more gun restrictions would “prevent” such crimes all the more grossly disingenuous. But if a few of the patrons had been carrying, and perhaps members of the Pink Pistols, they could have defended themselves (but hey, only the state should be allowed to defend people, right, right).

    I think that Stephen snuck this in since the original post without noting the change (the original post is dated Sunday June 12, the linked Tom Palmer Op-Ed Monday June 13). Palmer’s point is, no doubt, the point that the NRA is going to make when it ends its official silence, since it is the point that the NRA always makes after a mass shooting.

    Several thoughts (in addition to the unspoken thought that you have to watch Stephen like a hawk, unlike bloggers who are more upfront when they update/change their posts, because he keeps doing this kind of thing):

    (1) News reports (including the networks and the WSJ) indicate than an off-duty police officer working as a security guard at the nightclub exchanged shots with Omar Mateen early in the confrontation. Another security guard did not see Mateen, but managed to get about 70 patrons out of the club. It is not as if armed personnel where not at the club.

    (2) It is not known whether any civilians in the nightclub were carrying. In other mass shootings (e.g. the Gabbie Gifford shooting) armed civilians were present and ineffective. In this situation, we simply do not know.

    (3) I cannot imagine a worse locus for armed confrontation by civilians than a crowded, dark night club. Police are trained to deal with such situations and will not open fire if collateral damage is likely to be high, but civilians are not. Mateen was wearing a vest and would not have been an easy takedown, in any event.

    I don’t intend to get dragged into Stephen’s political spin cesspool any father than I can. I think that his posting (misrepresenting the President’s statement, lying about the ACLU, and so on) is outrageous, a low even for StephenWorld™. And here he goes again, ignoring facts, creating facts that are not in evidence, drawing conclusions that he cannot support.

    Spin, spin, spin, using gays and lesbians (this time dead ones) as cannon fodder. Disgusting.

  10. posted by Kosh III on

    Let’s don’t forget the White (probably) Christian terrorist attack on LA Pride that was thwarted.

    Maybe Stephen can get Trump to ban immigration by White Christians.

  11. posted by Kosh III on

    Seems he was not a stranger to the club


  12. posted by Jim Michaud on

    I’m with Lori on this tragedy. The bodies weren’t even cold yet when everybody across the political spectrum spouted off selected talking points. And when details emerge as this story goes off in all directions (as these tragedies often do), the spinning gets adjusted and people babble on and on. Can we have just a moment of reflection for the dead and a resolve to stop these things from occurring?

  13. posted by Jorge on

    I don’t intend to get dragged into Stephen’s political spin cesspool any father than I can. I think that his posting (misrepresenting the President’s statement, lying about the ACLU, and so on) is outrageous, a low even for StephenWorld™.

    I’m with you on two out of three.

    Your firearm in a china shop rebuttal is expressed well.

    Seems he was not a stranger to the club

    And then we have his father who condemns the hate crime aspect and yet he also is in archenemy territory. I think some higher power must be trying to punish the public for arrogantly jumping to conclusions and fracturing during what should be a more sacred time; we are paying a severe price for it.

  14. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    The killer was able to could acquire his weaponry because he was a licensed security guard …

    I want to make one last correction to Stephen’s potpourri of half-truths and outright lies in this post. The killer was not able to “acquire his weaponry because he was a licensed security guard” — no special status or permissions were required.

    Anyone who passes the required background checks — you, me, even Stephen — can acquire the weapons used, a Sig Sauer MCX and a Glock 17.

    The Sig Sauer costs about $1,500 and the Glock around $600. Both are readily available from dealers and on the aftermarket.

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