What do they believe?

Opposition to equal rights for the LGBT community has been a central message for many religious organizations and is a secondary goal for several racist groups. Members of these groups believe homosexuality, bi-sexuality and transgender are morally wrong under the tenants of their religion. The most extreme adherents to this belief advocate against violence against and death for members of the LGTB community and describe the movement against equal rights as a second civil war.

Acts of violence

In October of 1998, Matthew Shepard was abducted by Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson. The two men drove him to a remote area, beat Matthew severely and left him tied to a fence to die. Matthew died from his injuries five days later, on October 12, 1998. Matthew Shepard’s funeral was picketed by the Westboro Baptist Church.

On July 1, 1999, Gary Matson and Winfield Mowder, a prominent gay couple, were murder by white supremacists, Benjamin and Tyler Williams, in Redding California. Tyler Williams was convicted of firebombing area synagogues and an abortion clinic. Benjamin Williams claimed he was “obeying the laws of the Creator.” Both men had ties to the Christian Identity movement.

Omar Mateen held hostage and opened fire on the gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando, Florida on June 12, 2016. Killing 49 people and wounding 53 others, this was the deadliest shooting by an individual in the United States and the deadliest act of violence against the LGTB community.

Hate groups

National AllianceWestboro Baptist Church