Focus on the Family’s headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colorado, was vandalized on Thanksgiving with a message blaming the group for a recent mass shooting that killed five people and injured 18 others.
Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, is accused of opening fire at Club Q, a popular LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, on Saturday. The suspect was apprehended by clubbers Richard Fierro and Thomas James, as well as an unnamed trans woman, and later arrested by police.
Days after the mass shooting, someone left a spray-painted message on a Focus on the Family sign. The non-profit organization has an evangelical focus.
While it’s not clear if the suspect had any ties to the organization, the conservative Christian ministry group is known for its anti-LGBTQ messages. Aldrich, who identifies as non-binary according to his lawyers, comes from a conservative Republican family.
In a article by means of The Gazettepolice confirmed that a message had been spray-painted black on a Focus on the Family sign at the Department’s headquarters in Colorado Springs.
“Their blood is on your hands, five lives taken,” the message read.
According to the police, there is no information about who may have destroyed the sign The Gazette. Shortly after the message was discovered, a Gazette photographer found the board covered with a plastic sheet.
Focus on the Family has previously advocated for anti-LGBTQ messages. Campaign for human rightsan organization fighting for LGBTQ rights posted an article on Focus on the Family and called the group one of the most funded anti-LGBTQ organizations in the US.
Human Rights Campaign claims that Focus on the Family is using the $515 million it raised over the past five years to invest in public education campaigns against LGBTQ equality. It also accuses the evangelical group of conducting “conversion therapy” and claiming that school anti-bullying campaigns promote homosexuality.
In a focus on family question-and-answer web pageresponding to the topic of “struggling with same-sex attraction”, the ministry said the word “gay” is an “artificial construct”.
“[Gay is] a word that means what other people say it means — nothing more, nothing less,” the webpage said. “We recommend that you don’t let yourself be locked into that category.
“Do you consider yourself a Christian? If so, you will want to examine your beliefs with great care and prioritize them over any other consideration,” the group continued on the page.
When the sprayed message was shared Twitterseveral users supported the vandalism.
“I mean, there’s been a lot more than 5 deaths caused by family focus,” said one user tweeted.
“Not bad enough”, another tweeted about the vandalism. “Needs fire.”
“Today they should be thankful we don’t return blood for blood,” another tweeted.
News Week has contacted the Colorado Springs Police Department and Focus on the Family for comment.