Human Rights Campaign Condemns Israeli LGBT Center Shooting

by HRC Staff

Signs on in Support of Vigils in D.C. and other Cities

WASHINGTON - Late Saturday evening, during a youth meeting at the Aguda LGBT community center headquartered in Tel Aviv, Israel, a masked gunman opened fire on a teen support group, killing two and injuring at least 15 more. The two murdered youth were ages 17 and 26. Most teens who participate in the Aguda's youth support program do so because they have been ostracized by their families and faith community for their sexual orientation or gender identity making this attack all the more painful. The shooter has not yet been apprehended by Israeli police.

In response to this tragedy, Joe Solmonese, President of the Human Rights Campaign, issued the following statement:

"I am shocked and horrified by the pernicious violence that occurred in Tel Aviv over the weekend. To cut short the lives of two innocent youths is an unconscionable tragedy. The Jewish and LGBT communities are, sadly, united in a shared history of and experience with prejudice. The Human Rights Campaign stands in solidarity with the families of the victims and all those in Israel and around the world grieving from this blow to basic humanity."

HRC supports the Rabbis, activists, and community leaders from the DC area coming together tonight for a public candlelight vigil to stand in solidarity with the young victims and to pray for the speedy recovery of all those injured. The vigil has been organized by a cadre of local LGBT and Jewish activists. Similar vigils and services are occurring across the country tonight and throughout the week in temples of all Jewish denominations as well as secular Jewish and Israeli community groups. HRC supports all these efforts and joins in the grieving process.

To find out more information on tonight's vigils, please visit

The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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