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Respond to National Tragedy


Falwell/ Robertson Exchange Elicits Growing Condemnation

PFLAG Speaks Out Against Anti-Muslim, Anti-Arab Bigotry

Compiled By GayToday

Washington, D.C.-Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays responded to the national tragedy of September 11 after only two days had passed. Addressing members and affiliates nationwide, Arnold Drake, the organization's President and Kirsten Kingdon, its Executive Director, released the following statement:

Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)

On Tuesday, untold thousands of people were killed by terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C., as well as the flight that crashed in Pennsylvania. The devastation we are witnessing is ricocheting around the country and the world. It is taking a tremendous toll on all of us. Although some of us are more directly affected, as the tragic stories unfold, we all grieve.

This is a time that will test all of us. It is a time of national, and indeed international, tragedy. It is also a time of complexity, and we hope that as individuals, as PFLAG chapters and as a nation, we will respond to this horror in ways that will break the cycle of violence and move the world towards peace. Reports are already surfacing of threats and retaliatory acts against anyone who is, or who is perceived to be, Arab or Muslim.

In PFLAG we are united in our vision and our mission to celebrate diversity and work for a society that is healthy and respectful of human diversity. We know the needless pain and suffering experienced by people stigmatized simply because of who they are.

We have an obligation to speak out on behalf of and stand beside those who are stigmatized because of their perceived ethnicity or religion. Included with this letter is a statement sent out yesterday by our friend and ally, Faisal Alam, founder of Al -Fatiha, an organization for GLBT Muslims. We have already thanked him for his message and offered him support on behalf of PFLAG.

Therefore, we urge all of you to look for people in your community who may be adversely impacted by this tragedy and reach out to them. Let them know you support them. Participate in local rallies for peace. Work in coalition with people of color in your community. Build bridges among different faith communities. Speak out against violent attacks against Arab or Muslim people.

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Shock in Attacked Cities: Gay Activists/Journalists Report

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USA Reacts Emotionally to Events--Shows Variety of Feelings

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PFLAG is, at its heart, about love. It is about connecting with people. It is about treating all people with dignity, respect and equality. It is about connecting as human beings on a very personal level. This is a time that cries out for these values. This is a time for PFLAG members everywhere to embody those values and impact our communities for the better.

Falwell/Robertson Blasted by Conservative Rush Limbaugh

Rush Limbaugh blasted fellow right-wingers Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson for their outrageous comments in the wake of the terrorist attacks John Aravosis, writing in THE LIST is celebrating conservative pundit Rush Limbaugh's harsh criticisms of Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson following their widely-publicized blaming of gays and lesbians, feminists, pro-choicers, the ACLU, U.S. Courts, secularists and pagans for last week's terrorist attacks. Limbaugh said:

"Suggestions of this kind are one of the reasons why all conservatives get tarred and feathered with this extremist, bigoted, racist, sexist, homophobic label or image that isn't true. The words of Robertson and Falwell are not the words of all conservatives - they are the words of Robertson and Falwell… I was profoundly embarrassed and disappointed by their comments. They can try to take them back all they want, but the bottom line is that their words are indefensible."

John Aravosis writes:

"Limbaugh did a good thing, and whatever his motivation he deserves to hear from gays and lesbians, pro-choicers, feminists, pagans and all the rest who Falwell and Robertson defamed. And frankly, I suspect it might be the first time Limbaugh heard nice comments from gay people, and other perceived-liberals, and it just might open his mind on other issues as well."

E-mail Rush Limbaugh: mailto:rush@eibnet.com

Americans United for the Separation of Church & State

The Reverend Barry Lynn said:

In the wake of the horrific terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, the American people must join together in a spirit of unity, The finger-pointing and baseless assertions promoted by Falwell and Robertson run counter to that spirit and must be categorically rejected.

Thousands of innocent men, women and children died in these attacks. It was not their fault. It was not the Supreme Court's fault. It was not the fault of civil liberties groups, gay people or Pagans. The fault rests with the terrorists who devised, planned and carried out this vile deed.

Over the years, Robertson and Falwell have blamed church-state separation for just about every imaginable ill. This time they have gone too far. I call on all Americans to reject their divisive comments and to continue to nurture the spirit of unity that we have seen in recent days."

Lynn also criticized the statements issued by Robertson and Falwell in an attempt to evade responsibility for their remarks.

"Far from repudiating their extremism, Robertson and Falwell seem intent primarily on escaping the wave of national revulsion their remarks sparked," said Lynn. "They need a dramatic change of heart, not just a slight shift in rhetoric."



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