To the Carleton Community:
It is a tragedy of our times that the very places where specific groups gather to find community can become targets of horrific violence when bias and hatred are combined with the easy availability of assault weapons.
We have now learned that the suspect in Saturday’s shooting in Colorado Springs has been charged with hate crimes in relation to the murder of five people. The suspect opened fire in Club Q, a nightclub known as a haven for Colorado Springs’ LGBTQIA+ community, injuring dozens in addition to those killed. Sadly, this devastating scenario is familiar in its resemblance to the 2016 shooting at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, that took the lives of 46 people.
I know that this is a busy and stressful time, particularly for our students, who are in the midst of completing their final work and leaving campus. Nevertheless, it seems an important moment to reaffirm our love and support for LGBTQIA+ members of our community.
This is a particularly consequential time for the LGBTQIA+ community in our country. The bipartisan Respect for Marriage Act, which safeguards same-sex and interracial marriage by requiring the recognition of valid marriages performed in any state, advanced in the Senate last Wednesday. The amended bill will return to the House before being sent to President Biden for his signature. It was introduced in the House following the Supreme Court decision in June overturning Roe v. Wade, when remarks from Justice Clarence Thomas seemed to imply that the current right to same-sex marriage might be threatened.
I know that the Carleton community joins me in a commitment to safety, equality, and justice for members of the LGBTQIA+ community here and across the country. Thank you for doing whatever you can to make that commitment visible to your classmates, colleagues, and friends.
President Alison Byerly