In the wake of the terrorist attack on a gay Orlando nightclub, St. Petersburg, Fla., Bishop Robert Lynch lamented the role religion has played in breeding contempt for the LGBT community.
“Sadly it is religion, including our own, which targets, mostly verbally, and also often breeds contempt for gays, lesbians and transgender people,” Lynch wrote on his blog Monday. “Attacks today on LGBT men and women often plant the seed of contempt, then hatred, which can ultimately lead to violence.”
The bishop’s comments came a day after a gunman, Omar Saddiqui Mateen, killed at least 49 people and injured another 53 early Sunday morning at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando. While the federal investigation into Mateen’s motives is not complete, his father has told media outlets his son had recently expressed anti-gay sentiments.
“Those women and men who were mowed down early yesterday morning were all made in the image and likeness of God,” Lynch said. “We teach that. We should believe that. We must stand for that.”