Family Equality Council Statement On South Carolina Shootings

June 24, 2015

Last Thursday evening, a 21-year-old white man sat and prayed with a group of African-American worshipers at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC. As the evening prayer group came to an end, the man gunned down nine of the African-American worshipers in a violent, hate-fueled, racially motivated attack. The suspect is in custody and the murders are being investigated as hate crimes.

Gabriel Blau, Executive Director of Family Equality Council, issued the following statement:

“We join with the rest of the nation in mourning the nine individuals murdered at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC, last Thursday evening. There is no mistaking this violent and senseless act as anything other than racist hatred, the likes of which we wanted to believe was reminiscent of an era long gone. But the reality is that these sentiments still exist and these violent episodes still occur in 2015.

We must come together as a nation and demand change, taking part in a centuries-old movement to end racial prejudice. At every opportunity, we must ask how we can take one more step to heal our nation’s wounds and end racism. Our families deserve to live in a world where they can walk down the street, drive through a neighborhood or worship openly in their church without fear of discrimination, violence, and death. We owe it to our children to act now and we commit to standing with our allies to combat racism – blatant, discreet and systemic – in ways that affect real, true and lasting change.”

For TV, newspaper and web interviews with Family Equality Council Executive Director Gabriel Blau, contact Media Manager Bradley Jacobs at 917-324-8771 or via


About Family Equality Council®: Family Equality Council® connects, supports, and represents the three million parents who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer in this country today and their six million children of all ages. We are changing attitudes and policies to ensure that all families are respected, loved, and celebrated—including families with parents who are LGBTQ. We are a community of parents, children, grandparents, and grandchildren that reaches across this country. For over 30 years we have raised our children and raised our voices toward fairness for all families.

Contact:Bradley Jacobs, Media Manager