Many vigils have been held, both in the US and over here, in which people of all sexual orientations have been drawn together to mourn their loss, and to stand shoulder to shoulder with each other.
I have been incredibly moved by this up-swelling of love and solidarity. I posted this quote (shared by Sue Kelly Squires) on my own Facebook page yesterday, and was touched by the response of a friend: "Thanks Sue. I really needed to see this post today. I've been shocked by the homophobia of some Christians this week. I'm so tired of defending Christians to the gay community. It's time now for the Anglican Church to step up. You are so lovely to post this! Thank you!"
I felt both humbled and shamed as I read her words. Living as I do, a heterosexual white person, I had not truly appreciated until this week, the difficulties and fears that many of my LGBT friends still have to deal with every day. I had not realised how unaccepted and separate and vulnerable many of them still feel. I apologise for my lack of sensitivity and understanding, born of unthinking privilege.
Then this afternoon came the news of the murder of Jo Cox, a young MP who had spent her life fighting for the rights of those less fortunate than herself, notably Syrian refugees. She was shot, stabbed, and then kicked as she lay dying, by her vicious murderer.
Later on, her husband Brendan Cox issued a very moving statement: "She would have wanted two things above all else to happen now, one, that our precious children are bathed in love, and two, that we all unite to fight against the hatred that killed her. Hate doesn't have a creed, race, or religion. It is poisonous."
Maybe standing on the side of love, standing up for the best that humankind can be, sharing a message of hope, not hate, is all we can do. To quote Nick Lowles, of HOPE not Hate, "The best way to do that is for us all to redouble our efforts to challenge hatred, prejudice and intolerance, wherever we encounter it."
May we all remember this, in the weeks and months to come.