Londoners have organised a vigil tonight, beginning at 7pm, in honour of the victims of the horrific mass shooting at the Pulse Club in Orlando, Florida.
The vigil will take place on Old Compton Street, when bars will stop serving and invite people to take to the streets to hold hands and pay tribute to those who’ve been affected by the attack.
Gay and human rights campaigner, Peter Tatchell, will join tonight’s vigil. In a statement just emailed to me, he said:
There was always a possibility that Islamist extremists would target gay communities in the West, whether as lone attackers or via organised terrorist cells. They have a pathological hatred of LGBT people, and also of Jews, secularists and liberal Muslims.
This attack is a wake-up call to LGBT organisations and venues in the US, Britain and other Western countries to strengthen their vigilance. There is no room for the complacent and naïve belief that Islamist fanatics will confine their killing of gay people to Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.
In the light of this attack, security needs to be increased at the London LGBT Pride parade on 25 June, and at other events that could be targeted in the UK, such as those involving the Jewish community, secularists and ex-Muslims.
The Orlando attack is an extreme example of the violence that happens on a daily basis to LGBT people all over the world. Thousands are killed, maimed and hospitalised every year by violent homophobic assailants, ranging from individuals, gangs and mobs, to organised political and religious zealots. Millions of LGBT people – especially in the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, Russia, Eastern Europe and Asia – live in daily fear of being beaten and even killed.
George Broadhead, Secretary of the gay humanist charity, the Pink Triangle Trust, also sent me a short statement, saying that:
The religious motivation for the gay club gunman cannot be ignored as seems to be the case.
The attack is clearly another ghastly example of Islamic homophobia. Islamic holy texts, the Koran and the Haddith, clearly condemn homosexual practices and its sharia law provides for the most barbaric penalties. These are put into practice in Islamic theocracies like Iran and Saudi Arabia where gays are publicly beheaded, hanged and stoned. Five other Muslim countries also have the death penalty on their books. It seems that these indisputable facts are being ignored by those like the US President and the media for fear of offending Muslim sensibilities.
One man who won’t be attending this or any other vigil for those affected by the tragedy is a US pastor called Steven Anderson, above.
According to this report, in a video message posted yesterday, Anderson reacted to the terrorist attack by happily announcing that:
There’s fifty less paedophiles in this world. These homosexuals are a bunch of perverts and paedophiles, that’s who was a victim here, a bunch of disgusting homosexuals at a gay bar.
The loon later added:
The good news is that at least fifty of these paedophiles are not going to be harming children anymore. The bad news is that a lot of the homos in the bar are still alive, so they’re going to continue to molest children and recruit people into their filthy homosexual lifestyle.
Anderson explained that he didn’t approve of the shooter’s actions … but only because he thinks the victims should have been put to death by the government.
These people all should have been killed anyway, but they should have been killed through the proper channels, as in, they should’ve been executed by a righteous government.
He said that gun owners and pastors are the real victims of the tragedy, predicting that the government will use the massacre as an opportunity to confiscate firearms, demonise Christians and outlaw hateful speech.
Hat tip: BarrieJohn (Anderson report)