Monday, July 28, 2008

Tragedy in Knoxville

I was saddened to hear this morning about yesterday’s horrible shooting at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville. According to reports, a man shot and killed two people and wounded seven others, before being stopped by congregants.

The church is a welcoming spot to many LGBT individuals as well as many LGBT groups. The Knoxville PFLAG chapter is just one of many groups that use the church as a meeting space. Some news reports have suggested that, unfortunately, the church may have been targeted because it was viewed as ‘liberal.’

The Unitarian Universalist Churches have long been at the fore front for the pro-LGBT faith movement. In addition to being welcoming places of faith for LGBT people, they have also been leaders in fighting for Transgender inclusion. We are encouraged to hear that many in the local GLBT community are working together to find support and healing during this difficult time.

A vigil has been scheduled for tonight at the Knoxville Second Presbyterian Church at 7pm. All those in the area are encouraged to attend to show their support.

- Jamie Curtis

Update: Out & About, an LGBT newspaper in Tennessee, has just posted a first-hand account of the tragedy in Knoxville by Carla Lewis, a member of the Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition.

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