Jun 14, 2016

Let’s be clear: Orlando was an attack on gay people at a gay club because they were gay

This was an act of extreme and violent homophobia. Claiming otherwise is an insult to LGBTI people.

Josh Taylor — Journalist

Josh Taylor


Mourners gather at a vigil for the victims of the Pulse Nightclub shooting in downtown Orlando, Florida
Mourners gather at a vigil for the victims of the Pulse Nightclub shooting in downtown Orlando, Florida

“I don’t have a problem with gay people, just don’t shove it in my face.”

That’s one of the more common lines trotted out when it comes to the “tolerance” of LGBTI people in our society. It is for this reason that we constantly look over our shoulders when in public and looking to hold the hand or steal a kiss from those we love, and it’s why we seek the sanctuary of safe spaces such as gay clubs in order to be who we are, free of concerns for our safety.

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20 thoughts on “Let’s be clear: Orlando was an attack on gay people at a gay club because they were gay

  1. James O'Neill

    “In the worst mass shooting in US history”. Check your history Josh. There is a long list of massacres perpetrated on both native American and black people in the US. For a sense of perspective you might like to read http://www.thesaker.is of 13 June 2016.

  2. Iskandar

    Just when you thought the Incredible Shrinking Malcolm Turnbull couldn’t possibly shrink any more, he managed to with his initial public statement on the Orlando shootings. Turnbull was of course obligated to say something, but whoever writes his speeches seems to have been lazy, and merely lifted a few lines from the George W Bush/John W Howard songbook immediately post-911: “hatred of our freedoms”; “free society which all of us enjoy”; “assault on every one of us”; “assault on freedom” etc etc. What risible poppycock! Even Turnbull realised this for within a couple of hours his line changed to the more accurate but otherwise non-informative “act of terror and hate” more in line with Obama’s response. Obama I suppose had a better speech-writer.

  3. Swen Mytop

    There is so much money spent on anti-terrorism that every violent event must be considered to be terrorist – otherwise who would accept the cost and the associated loss of civil liberties?

    1. kanooka

      So Swen, you would prefer less or no money spent on terror related crime so we can save those funds for what purpose? I guess you would also be happy to have more civil liberties (not sure which ones we have lost) at whatever cost in terms of terror attacks.

      Given the nature of the article your reply seems totally out of context, if it was not a terror event maybe you can enlighten all of us as to exactly what it was. I doubt very much the attacker had any ties to ISIS or any other group, that does not mean it was anything but a terrorist attack………… Was it an attack YES………… Did it create Terror YES………… Was the attacker motivated by bias or hate……….YES.
      Simple really when you think about it.

  4. Michael James

    Yes, it was an attack on a minority by an extremist.
    That minority was targeted in large part because that extremist philosophy (radical Islamic fundamentalism) considers homosexuality to be an affront to their god.
    The truth though is that gay people are only one target for that extremism, Jews in Paris, Yahzdi’s in Iraq, Christian’s and Coptic’s in much of the Middle East, Australian’s in Bali, and Westerner’s everywhere just on general principles.
    In the twisted, hate filled world those people live in, killing gay’s in America ticked multiple boxes.
    Homosexuals? Check
    Westerners? Check
    Americans? Check
    On American soil? Check
    Yes, they were targeted because they were considered suitable targets in the warped world of the Islamic fundamentalist terrorist.
    The rest of the sane world was horrified, it didn’t matter if it had been a church group or a school group or a night club full of straight people, in all of these cases the general population was horrified and rushed to assist.
    Look at all those people, straight and gay, who lined up to give blood, the church groups that rushed to provide aid and comfort to the victims, the businesses that opened on a Sunday to provide food and drink to police, rescuers and the thousands of people who lined up to give blood.
    Instead of making it all about the sexuality of the victims, chosen as they were in part because of it, try and understand that they were targeted because they were Westerners, on American soil, engaging in activities (dancing, drinking, music, sex) that ISIL and it’s fellow travelers consider abhorrent.
    This was an attack on all of us, even though the target this time hit a section of the community, just as similar attacks have hit other sections of the community.
    Don’t make it about us (gays) vs them (straights), understand it is about us (the west) vs them (radical Islamic terrorists)
    They hate everything about us that separates them from their brutal, dark ages view of the world, they hate modernity and everything that it entails, in this case they hit the gay community, next time it will be some other group.
    We need to stand together as one community, lest we fall seperately

    1. julian callaghan

      isn’t it ironic to “stand together as one community” whilst delineating an “us (the west) vs them (radical Islamic terrorists)”?

  5. BruceHassan

    Thanks Josh, you’ve put in words what I have been feeling. I was watching Leigh Sales last night talk with a terrorism expert about everything except the gay hate that is at the heart of this tragedy. My partner and I just looked at each other and said at the same time “she’s missed the point completely”. From many others, that wouldn’t be surprising, but from Leigh Sales? Today’s Sydney Morning Herald has several letters denouncing the evils of Islam from letter writers blind to the actual cause – disdain and hatred of homosexuality or the sexually different. They seem completely unaware of the suffering of LGBTI people under any fundamentalist regime, religious or otherwise. The caliphate happily hates, tortures and publicly murders muslim gay men because they are gay. I think the murderer in Orlando just used religion as a cloak to try and justify in some perverse way his loathing and murderous intentions towards LGBTI people because we are who we are. We are outsiders, and I do try and embrace that, but it has its costs.

  6. Sally Mickelson

    Open your eyes, Josh.
    It’s the classic NWO trifecta in one foul swoop. 1) Gays. 2) Terrorism. 3) Gun control. It was also mentioned he was a wife basher and a bipolar sufferer. Is there anything they missed? I am surprised fat people did n’t crack a mention. A gay night club is a very soft target for any MK Ultra mind controlled patsy. If gays think the coming great tumult will miss and overlook them then they are mistaken. They are on notice just like the rest of us.

  7. kanooka

    Josh, why is it that members of any group that sees itself as identifiable claim to want to be accepted as “ordinary” members of society, yet when a tragedy such as this occurs seem to want to claim it as theirs.

    I have no problem with LGBTI people at all, I accept them as people just as I do any other person. My horror and disgust at this devastating attack is that it took place at all. The fact that it was at a gay nightclub is if no significance to me at all, any more than it would have been had it taken place at a Mexican Club, a Sports Bar, Country Club or any other place where one is likely to have a large group of Americans enjoying a Saturday night out. Not sure if you have read that at least some of the dead and injured are/were straight, out for a fun night like everybody else. Surely their sexuality is/was just as irrelevant as the rest of the victims.

    Perhaps it is time the gay community understood that the vast majority of society has no problem with them, things have changed since the evil times of the sixties, we have had a gay high Court judge, very senior members of the military, senior police and many gay politicians none of whom would have risen to those high offices fifty years ago.

    Now would be a good time to accept the open arms of the broader community and become more inclusive yourselves, yes we all hurt deeply because of what happened, not however because they were members of the LGBTI sector, but because they were people just like you and I.

    1. Blair Martin

      Excuse me? Lecturing our community on how to behave when our community is being murdered, vilified, told they are “broken” people who need religion, compared to Nazis and their atrocities, tagged as paedophiles and corrupter of children?
      You DON’T get to tell me how to respond. The arrogance of the privileged heterosexual is breathtaking. Only matched by the poor white middle aged man who wants to tell women, people of colour and those of the diverse in gender and sexuality community how “bad” they have it and how much they are “marginalized”.

      1. AR

        Way to miss the point Josh (& OwenJ) – it was “an explicit attack at a gay club on gay people for being gay./I>” because the perp was deranged by his religious delusions.
        I neither know nor care whether he was a repressed gay – the spaghetti monster phantasy was dominant.

  8. Bob Roberts

    Right. Good thing this act of hate was not done by a radical Islamic terrorist! Oh wait…

  9. Bob Roberts

    Obviously this issue is far more painful for the LGBTI community than it was for the people of Paris when a radical Islamic terrorist attacked the Bataclan concert hall and shot dead 89 people before he blew himself up with a suicide vest.

    Or the people of Belgium in March when radical Islamic terrorists bombed the Airport and a train station that resulted in 35 deaths

    Or the people of New York when radical Islamic terrorists claimed the lives of 2,996 people on 911.

    Or London, India, Canada, Australia………

    I mean come on people! This is CLEARLY a Hate crime againts the LGBTI community. It is NOT a radical Islamic terrorist issue!

    On other matters, this just in:

    Mateen “may have been gay”
    Omar Mateen’s former wife has told The New York Times he may have been gay. Sitora Yusufiy said her ex-husband might have been gay but hid it out of anger and shame. She said he told her he frequented nightclubs before they were married, but didn’t say if they were gay clubs.

    So now we can re-work the title of this article to: Let’s be clear: Orlando was an attack on gay people at a gay club because they were gay by a gay radical Islamic terrorist.

  10. Brett Wilson

    How is always the case that these attacks continue to slip through the Police States Counter Terror drag net? Is this just coincidence?

    While the right-wing media blames Muslims and the left-wing media blame guns, perhaps it would be more effective if thinking individuals would examine the possibilities that this attack was a false flag incident designed to push an agenda that would benefit those in power in some way or other.

    The Police State has some serious explaining to do since it appears that their various security agencies are possibly the greatest initiator of terrorist activity inside American borders and is either the most incompetent anti-terror fighter in the U.S. or it is complicit in the attacks that take place after having conducted surveillance and allowing this massacre to take place.

    From this attack there will be a push by the neo conservatives to restrict other civil liberties as well as increased propaganda and psychological conditioning of the USA public. We now know the CIA created ISIS to overthrow the likes of Syria’s Assad Government and they promote ISIS as a threat to the American way of life and use it as a greater attempt and justification for foreign military intervention, chasing down imaginary or self funded and created terrorists, whilst at the same time demonising foreign governments, ousting their leaders, destabilising their country and plundering their resources etc.

    Whilst more evidence is required to prove the Orlando attack was a false flag attack, their is reason enough to question the official story thus far given the FBI’s documented history of false flag attacks. If ISIS were to claim responsibility for this attack, the fingers should be pointed at the US Police States Intelligence apparatus who have allot of explaining to do where Billions of USD has and continues to be spent on electronic and physical surveillance, all of which has failed to stop events like this from occurring.

    The US Policed State and its security agencies are either the most incompetent anti terror networks in the USA or they are complicit in the attacks that take place.

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