More than 75 LGBT and civil rights groups have issued a joint statement condemning racial violence.
The letter comes as civil unrest spreads across the nation following the death of George Floyd in Minnesota. Floyd, a black man, can be seen in a video gasping to breathe as a white officer is holding him down with his knee.
The statement was organized by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest LGBT rights advocate.
“The racial violence that has filled our television, computer and phone screens this spring is a stark reminder of how far we still must go to ensure that the promise of America is not dependent on the color of one’s skin,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “When we see injustice, we must speak out as strongly as we can. Otherwise, we are complicit in oppression. And we have seen a lot of injustice lately. From George Floyd, to Ahmaud Arbery, to Breonna Taylor, to Christian Cooper, to Nina Pop. The LGBTQ community is familiar with fighting against systems of power that are set up to serve the privileged few. And we are united to fight the systems that target our Black and brown siblings, today and always.”
The statement, released on Friday, calls for “explicit commitments to embrace anti-racism and end white supremacy.”
“The LGBTQ Movement’s work has earned significant victories in expanding the civil rights of LGBTQ people. But what good are civil rights without the freedom to enjoy them?” the groups ask.
“Many of our organizations have made progress in adopting intersectionality as a core value and have committed to be more diverse, equitable, and inclusive. But this moment requires that we go further – that we make explicit commitments to embrace anti-racism and end white supremacy, not as necessary corollaries to our mission, but as integral to the objective of full equality for LGBTQ people.”
“We, the undersigned, recognize we cannot remain neutral, nor will awareness substitute for action. The LGBTQ community knows about the work of resisting police brutality and violence. We celebrate June as Pride Month, because it commemorates, in part, our resisting police harassment and brutality at Stonewall in New York City, and earlier in California, when such violence was common and expected. We remember it as a breakthrough moment when we refused to accept humiliation and fear as the price of living fully, freely, and authentically.”
“We understand what it means to rise up and push back against a culture that tells us we are less than, that our lives don’t matter. Today, we join together again to say #BlackLivesMatter and commit ourselves to the action those words require,” the statement reads.
Signatures include the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Trevor Project, Centerlink, which represent LGBT community centers, and state LGBT advocates such as Equality New York, Equality California, and Equality Florida.