Many of us are grappling with the devastating news of the mass shooting over the weekend at a queer nightclub in Colorado Springs. As we grieve, we also recognize that this attack is a backlash to some of the powerful victories won by and for the 2SLGBTQIA+ community in this past election. Among these victories is the passage of all four statewide ballot measures here in Oregon, supporting health care, ending slavery, increasing safety from gun violence, and holding politicians accountable. Below is a newsletter from the human dignity group Columbia Gorge Women’s Action Network that they sent out yesterday. It offers some analysis of why we’ve seen increased attacks as well as suggested actions to support Club Q victims and the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and to prepare for conversations with family and friends this holiday season.
Sidra and the ROP Team
Dear CGWAN members and friends,
We woke up this morning to news of yet another mass shooting in our country. As of 3pm Sunday, five people have died and 25 were injured when a gunman walked into Colorado Springs’ Club Q and started shooting late Saturday night. Club Q was previously hailed “a safe haven for [Colorado Springs’] LGBTQ citizens.”
It is easy to connect the dots here. Fox News and other right wing extremists on social media have been dehumanizing the LGBTQIA+ community for years, and those attacks have only increased this year. There have been nearly 300 anti-LGBTQ bills introduced in 2022. We see over and over again that the dehumanization of any group leads to violence. It takes all of us to speak out against such rhetoric when we hear it. It takes all of us to say, “that’s not ok” when a friend or family member makes a disparaging comment or “joke”. It is the responsibility for those of us with privilege (especially those of us who are white, straight, and cisgender [a person whose sense of personal identity and gender corresponds with their birth sex]) to show up for our marginalized neighbors and loved ones. Here is some recent good news from LGBTQ Nation, so you can redirect those conversations to something great.
Colorado Gives is hosting a Healing Fund to raise money for the Club Q victims and their families.
If you need help processing this event, please visit the Trevor Project for free, confidential, urgent counseling. Donations to the Trevor Project are also welcome, so they can continue supporting the LGBTQIA+ community.
Today, November 20th, is the Transgender Day of Remembrance, an annual observance that honors the memory of the transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence.
Here are some other actions you can take this week:
EVERYONE: Love is love. Contact your two US Senators and urge them to pass the Respect for Marriage Act (S. 4556). This bill will repeal and replace the Defense of Marriage Act, and will ensure all states must recognize all marriages (including those between same sex and interracial couples).
EVERYONE: No repeats of January 6th. Contact your two US Senators and urge them to pass the Electoral Count Reform Act (S. 4573). This bill will clarify the role of the Vice President in the electoral count vote, close loopholes that allow states to overrule the decisions of voters, ensure prompt dispute resolutions for electoral vote validity questions, and more. Here is a great breakdown of the bill by the League of Women Voters, and another from FindLaw.
EVERYONE: It’s that time of year again. Register now for a free virtual discussion from Dr. Karin Tamerius—Smart Politics for the Holidays: Uphold your beliefs without ruining dinner—this Tuesday from 5-7pm. If you can’t make Tuesday’s event, here are some similar resources from Greater Good Magazine.
Check out our Gorge Action Calendar for more events, including Monday’s Hood River County Commissioner’s meeting.
Thanks to all who contributed to this alert, and to all of you for your perseverance.