Stuart McMillan, president of the Uniting Church in Australia, has issued the following statement, in the wake of the recent shooting in a gay club in Orlando, USA.
The Uniting Church in Australia expresses its deep sorrow at the deaths of 49 people in a despicable act of violence at a gay nightclub in the city of Orlando in the US state of Florida over the weekend.
No words of comfort we say are enough to console the families and loved ones, or to heal the damage done by this hateful act of homophobia.
Murder for whatever reason – religious, racial, or on grounds of sexuality or gender – is an outrage against humanity and God’s creation.
The horrific attack in Orlando has raised strong and legitimate feelings among the LGBTIQ community and others about the failure of the world’s religious to love all human beings equally regardless of sexuality.
As Christians we need to reflect seriously on the fact that even our prayers for the dead are being heard as hypocrisy in some ears.
For our own part, Uniting Church members must reflect on our commitment to accept LGBTIQ people as full members of our church; confess and repent our own failures to accept people equally; and recommit ourselves to rejecting homophobia in all its forms.
Amid our own prayerful reflection, today we give thanks to God for all those who work to eradicate homophobia and all forms of hate in our world.
Stuart McMillan, president of the Uniting Church in Australia