Those of you who have been following the stories of the men and women murdered last Sunday morning at Pulse in Orlando, may have already heard about the 33 year old talented man, Shane Evan Tomlinson, pictured here. (Photo is from his facebook page). By all accounts, he was hugely talented. He had sung in his church choir and he, for a number of years, was the lead singer for the cover band Frequency, which performed at weddings and various clubs, and which had earlier in the evening done a show at Blue Martini nightclub in Orlando.
I mention Shane here this morning though not only because he was one of the 49 people shot to death inside that gay club, but because of a concern of his mother this week. CNN's Don Lemon interviewed Corliss and Steve Tomlinson, Shane's parents, and Lemon asked if they were concerned that a church might refuse to do a funeral service. Earlier in the week, I wrote here some of the vile comments that have come from ordained clergy. Yesterday, I mention that in the past, there have been churches that have refused to do services for gay people and that some parents have even refused to claim their bodies. Mrs Tomlinson said to Lemon that she did have concern about a church. (Since that interview, she has announced that she and her husband are taking Shane back to his home state, North Carolina).
When someone dies, however the circumstances, there is much sorrow for the friends and family. They shouldn't have additional worries like whether or not a church will bury their loved one.
Shane was one of the 49. He was loved by his family and friends. The same seems to be true for all of the victims. Lives cut short by hate. We still don't have all the details, and perhaps never will, but one thing is certain: I man walk into an Orlando club frequented mostly by gay men, and he opened fire causing death and injury.
It is my intention to see that this is NEVER forgotten and that this is never repeated in our history. To do that though, we need to end the hate. Politicians and pastors and folks in the coffee shops need to stop inciting others to kill and to otherwise harm people who may be different than they are. Shane Tomlinson was not just a fine performer, he was a human being, and he deserved the dignity and respect that ALL humans deserve. Let's make it so.