The Pope didn’t acknowledge the homophobic nature of the Orlando shooting

The Pope didn’t acknowledge the homophobic nature of the Orlando shooting

The Pope’s official statement on the terror attacks in Orlando failed to even acknowledge that the attack was homophobic or that it took place in a gay club.

50 people were killed and 53 injured yesterday in the shocking terrorist hate crime attack, which saw a gunman open fire inside The Pulse gay bar in Orlando, Florida.

ISIS has since claimed responsibility for the attack, which was perpetrated by US citizen Omar Mateen. The majority of the victims were Latino.

In his role as the head of the Catholic Church, the Pope released an official statement on the killings yesterday… but it failed to actually mention that any the victims were gay, or that the shooting was homophobic, or that it took place in a gay bar.

The statement said: “The terrible massacre that has taken place in Orlando, with its dreadfully high number of innocent victims, has caused in Pope Francis, and in all of us, the deepest feelings of horror and condemnation, of pain and turmoil before this new manifestation of homicidal folly and senseless hatred.

“Pope Francis joins the families of the victims and all of the injured in prayer and in compassion. Sharing in their indescribable suffering he entrusts them to the Lord so they may find comfort.

“We all hope that ways may be found, as soon as possible, to effectively identify and contrast the causes of such terrible and absurd violence which so deeply upsets the desire for peace of the American people and of the whole of humanity.

“The attack, which took place early Sunday in a crowded nightclub, was perpetrated by a gunman wielding an assault-type rifle and a handgun.

“Authorities are reportedly investigating the attack as an act of terrorism. Officials said at least 53 other people were hospitalized, most in critical condition. A surgeon at Orlando Regional Medical Center said the death toll was likely to climb.”

The Pope controversially scrapped plans in 2014 to liberalize teaching on homosexuality – which the Catholic Church teaches is ‘intrinsically disordered’. The Church has continued to aggressively battle against LGBT rights legislation around the world.

The religious leader’s statement is contrasted with those from other global figures, who directly acknowledged the hate crime element of the attack.

President Obama said: “This is an especially heartbreaking day for all our friends – our fellow Americans – who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. The shooter targeted a nightclub where people came together to be with friends, to dance and to sing, and to live.

“The place where they were attacked is more than a nightclub – it is a place of solidarity and empowerment where people have come together to raise awareness, to speak their minds, and to advocate for their civil rights.

“So this is a sobering reminder that attacks on any American – regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation – is an attack on all of us and on the fundamental values of equality and dignity that define us as a country. And no act of hate or terror will ever change who we are or the values that make us Americans.”

Canada’s Justin Trudeau said: “It is appalling that as many as 50 lives may have been lost to this domestic terror attack targeting the LGBTQ2 community.

“On behalf of the Government of Canada, Sophie and I offer our condolences and prayers to the families and friends of those lost today, and wish a full recovery to all those injured. We stand in solidarity with Orlando and the LGBTQ2 community. We grieve with our friends in the United States and Florida, and offer any assistance we can provide.”

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said: “I strongly condemn the horrific shooting in Orlando, Florida. I grieve with all those who lost loved ones, the LGBT community, and the American people. My thoughts are with the many who were injured in this act of terror.”

Previous Orlando Shooting: What We Know and Don’t Know
Next The Piece About How Far Some Will Go To Ignore Homophobia

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  1. DeadlyDarius
    June 13, 17:17 Reply

    Why should he? Homosexuals are deviant sinners na #HateTheSinAndSinnerDespiteSayingOtherwise

  2. Canis VY Majoris
    June 13, 18:01 Reply

    Well acknowledging the sexuality of the victims is irrelevant, as it is a known fact that not all the victims were members of the LGBTQA Community, and after all we’re advocating not to be defined by our sexual orientation. The atrocity is done, the dead is dead, what any one says from this moment forward is irrelevant.

    • Duke
      June 13, 18:46 Reply

      My point exactly! why do we have to define the type of life that was lost? In other news stories, it is So and So number of lives but now Gay people are involved, they want it to be “50 Gay People lost their lives”. The Adjective is unnecessary abeg! Lives were lost… Period!

    • Doe eyed monster
      June 14, 15:53 Reply

      Exactly, ,,, we should be defined as human first before the sexuality comes in. That’s what we have been fighting for, Even when my homophobe friends said the victims deserved it, I had to make them understand that the victims were human first and biko should we all now be killed because of our “sin” ? !,, the useless Omar would tell me when God employed him

  3. Duke
    June 13, 19:08 Reply

    And you know what is funny, a co-worker of mine was just saying Gay clubs are not only patronized by gay people. Different people go to different places to have fun. Some straight girls may want a night out with their gay BFF and vice versa. So the “Gay” attachment to the headline is unnecessary. Gay clubs do not only service gay people.

    • ambivalentone
      June 13, 20:25 Reply

      I’d really love to hear what’s bin said in ur immediate community about the shooting. Would u terribly mibd sharing in ur next post?

      • Duke
        June 13, 21:01 Reply

        This sad event happened after the submission of my next entry. Maybe the next one.

        I also thought it was too early to write about it since the story is still developing.

  4. Dimkpa
    June 13, 21:36 Reply

    How can it be said that the sexuality of the victims is irrelevant?
    Did his father not say it was because he saw two men kissing that he became angry and then decided to commit this act.
    The people that sidestep the sexuality of the victims do so because they know it is the same hatred they have for the LGBT community that fuelled this crime.
    That members of the same community think it is irrelevant deeply saddens me.

    • ambivalentone
      June 13, 21:47 Reply

      I really don’t get. First, we want to be regarded as human, before being termed gay, with rights NEXT we want to stand out. He has recognized the gay community as human beings. A far cry from being branded animals and seated first class on hell express. Which way na?

    • Brian Collins
      June 14, 11:42 Reply

      Their sexuality is just as relevant as it is not. 50PEOPLE were killed. They were first humans before they were gay. When they were given birth to they would have been called human male or female child. That is what matters the most.

    • Justme
      June 14, 19:06 Reply

      Maybe they say that because the murder of any human being – straight or gay – is abhorrent and focusing on the sexuality of only the gay victims is too selective when we now know that a number of the victims were indeed straight.

  5. Tiercel de Claron
    June 13, 21:56 Reply

    From the other thread:

    “The global security company G4S, based in Britain, said Mr. Mateen had worked for it as a guard since 2007. A co-worker said he had repeatedly complained to the company that Mr. Mateen used racial, ethnic and sexist slurs and talked about killing people.”
    Human lives have been wasted by a deranged fellow and we are here splitting hairs on who acknowledged what sexuality.Can we get real for once?.The sexuality of the victims matters not one whit at this juncture,what we know is he was a man filled with hate and bloodlust.
    Most of his victims were Latino,can we also say the Pope didn’t acknowledge the race of the victims as that’s important too?.

    • Y
      June 13, 22:41 Reply

      Latino isn’t a race tho.

  6. Delle
    June 13, 22:12 Reply

    He should be biting in the same cake as our Nigerian parents. Rather ignore and pretend that it’s not there than face it head on and have to make a decision. The pope is the least of my problems now sef. Sigh.

  7. Mr. Fingers
    June 13, 23:50 Reply

    I had this same argument on Fb a few hours ago.

    Human beings were killed, not just gay people. And we keep on saying gay rights are human rights, smh.

  8. Alpha papi
    June 14, 00:30 Reply

    The Pope has no fault here biko.. He didn’t need to acknowledge the sexuality of the victims. Human lives were lost…simple. Besides hw r u sure all the victims are gay as straight pple also go to gay clubs.

  9. Absalom
    June 14, 06:39 Reply

    So sad about the comments dismissing the relevance of sexual orientation in this tragedy.

    Nobody says all the victims were gay.

    What was said is: The club is a GAY CLUB. Which means that the majority of its patrons would naturally be from the LGBTQ community. Which means the gunman likely targeted a specific demographic of human beings to harm. This same demographic whose rights all over the world are still being contested, sadly. Which means this is likely a hate-motivated crime.

    That gay people are so quick to disregard this truth is just sad.

    When it happened to #Akin here in Nigeria, a lot of people were desperate to downplay the fact that #Akin died because he was gay. They were screaming “jungle justice” and all manner of rubbish.

    When David Kato was murdered in Uganda, the police (without any leads yet) were desperate to rule out the fact that the activist’s murder was a hate crime.

    When, in 1973, the Upstairs Lounge – yes, a GAY bar – was set on fire by an unknown arsonist, killing 32 persons, the government of the day was silent on the tragedy for about a week because #hate.

    The Pope is not a fool. Acknowledging the true nature of the tragedy holds a mirror up to his face and his Church as to how they continue to enable this injustice.

    Gay rights are human rights but they are also gay rights. Very specific. Because when the hate starts, it’s always very specific.

    • ambivalentone
      June 14, 08:01 Reply

      Akin was mobbed because he was gay. Not because he filched someone’s property. All your other instances have a common ground. The authorities REFUSED to acknowledge a crime was committed because the people involved were not human and not worth the stress of an investigation BECAUSE they were gay. Big difference.

    • Tiercel de Claron
      June 14, 12:37 Reply

      “The Pope is not a fool. Acknowledging the true nature of the tragedy holds a mirror up to his face and his Church as to how they continue to enable this injustice.”

      This from the next thread:
      “It is possible for an atrocity to be more than one thing at the same time. You are not compelled to select one option or the other.”

      The tragedy in this case is that of a deranged fellow,filled with hate and bloodlust,being enabled by his State’s lax gun laws to get ahold of weapons needed to give vent to that brimming in him.
      From all indications,he might have attacked a church,mall,school as well as he did the club.
      Btw,I didn’t know the guy was Christian,nay Catholic,for the Pope and his Church to have enable this injustice,this tragedy.

    • Henrie
      June 14, 16:03 Reply

      ???? Thank you, Absalom. You just eased the shock from reading all the comments before you.

  10. Truth
    June 14, 07:52 Reply

    their sexuality is not important, really?

  11. Handle
    June 14, 10:08 Reply

    Saying their sexuality doesn’t matter is denying the fact that this was a hate crime “SPECIFICALLY” directed at people like us.

    This not just domestic terror and it isn’t different from crimes motivated by bias against a specific group because terrorists are less concerned about who is killed than about what message is sent.

    So the Orlando shooting isn’t an attack on all humans but a homophobic hate crime targeted at gay people. It could have been you or me, or our friends anywhere in the world which is why it’s important that this attack is represented for what it is: in the words of President Obama, “an act of hate”, perpetrated against everyone in the gay community.

  12. Henrie
    June 14, 16:20 Reply

    The amount of comments here justifying this skillful avoidance of mentioning the targeted population is disturbing. How does identifying a person as human ipso facto exclude identifying them as gay? How do we know these 50 people haven’t been murdered because they were gay? Do we intend psychoanalyzing the dead? Even if homophobia wasn’t his motivation (a ridiculous consideration itself), how does it change the fact that a gay bar entertaining majority gay persons “randomly happened” to be the target of this “nonspecifically homophobic hatred”? If Muslims or Christians worshipping in a church or mosque were attacked this way, would any of us applaud this careful narrative of lumping them all as “humans”? Why have we chosen to buy into this single broad narrative of the oppresor?


  13. Francis
    June 14, 17:23 Reply

    What fuckery! When they slaughter black people, you don’t hear dem saying “they are human first”. You’re inundated with cries of “they’ve come for black folks again oh. Racists, KKK etc.” Suddenly gays are affected and we should take a chill pill and realise we are humans first as our sexuality don’t matter?! Mscheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeew.

    • ambivalentone
      June 14, 19:32 Reply

      Ok o. Now that reports are filtering in that he was a closeted gay man, and a frequent visitor to the club, please, is his act now reasonably acceptable? What are the headlines supposed to be? “Gay man kills fellow gay men to make heaven” and because he was gay, we deny that he killed other human beings as a psycopathic radical?

      • Francis
        June 14, 20:54 Reply

        Closeted gay man ke? Biko he was a gay man in denial bursting with serious IH. It still remains a hate crime against gay folks.

      • Tiercel de Claron
        June 14, 21:42 Reply

        They’re quick to appropriate the victims,cast this tragedy as an Us v The World That Hates Us scenario,but bring up reports the perpetrator was also one of “Us” and you hear……*crickets*

  14. Francis
    June 14, 17:29 Reply

    Same applies to when boko haram is having a field day here in the north. Some of una for other parts of the country act like watevs, after all na hausa killing hausa. Na dem sabi. Most of you don’t look at it as humans being slaughtered. Na hausa people being slaughtered so …….

  15. Khaleesi
    June 14, 17:29 Reply

    That bastard specifically targeted a known gay club for the reason that he knew that most of its occupants would be gay people. This was a hate crime where the assailant’s fantasies were fulfilled via means of terror! This is that must never be lost sight of. If he targeted a Church in a place where christians have been persecuted for decades, the religious affiliation of the victims would have been highlightedm why should a different set of standards be applied to gays? Oh yea … the Catholic church preaches that homosexuality is intrinsically disordered and must always be frowned on … **rolls eyes***

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