LGBT groups are now responding to Saturday’s shooting of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-AZ, asking for thoughts and prayers to go out to the congresswoman, her staff and their families and those of the other victims and their loved ones.
Twenty people were shot during a Congressional meet and greet event in Tuscon on Saturday, including Giffords, who is a member of the House LGBT Equality Caucus and an outspoken supporter of LGBT rights and gay marriage. Six people died, and doctors are “cautiously optimistic” that Rep. Giffords will recover from the head wound she received from an attack that President Obama has described as an “unspeakable tragedy.”
“Congresswoman Giffords’ support for our LGBT family has never faltered,” LGBT Congressional Staff Association President Chris Crowe said in a statement. “After coming off of one of the closest races in the most recent election cycle, one in which she was criticized for her support of equality issues, she didn’t hesitate for a moment to support the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’. She has stood with us unrelentingly and in this sad time we stand with her.”
The president of the Human Rights Campaign, a national LGBT organization, also said in a statement, “We are shocked and saddened by the events involving Congresswoman Giffords and our hearts go out to her and the other victims of this awful tragedy. Gabby Giffords is a champion for LGBT equality and a principled leader for Arizona.”
An intern on Rep. Giffords staff is credited for helping save her life by quickly responding after the shooting and administering first aid. The person thought to be responsible for the shooting, 22-year-old Jared Lee Loughner, is now in federal custody.