On August 18, proud LGBTQ ally Laura Ann Carleton was killed after being confronted about the Pride flag she hung outside of the store she owned in San Bernardino County, California. The National Center for Transgender Equality Executive Director Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen has issued the following response:
“The rainbow flag is a symbol of freedom, love, and hope in the LGBTQ community. In a time when our people are being attacked with anti-LGBTQ laws, rhetoric, and violence around the country, allyship from our non-LGBTQ neighbors is a powerful declaration of love. It should not be dangerous to love your neighbors.
“This is, unfortunately, what we mean when we say that anti-LGBTQ extremism hurts all of us, whether you are LGBTQ or not. Schools lose their teachers. Cities and towns lose their doctors. Families lose their loved ones. Communities lose their friends and neighbors. All of us are harmed whether we realize it or not.
“Our hearts are with Laura's family and friends, and the LGBTQ community of San Bernardino County.”