Ariz. Rep. Giffords strong supporter of LGBT rights, HRC responds to shooting

Sat. January 8, 2011 4:25 PM by News Staff

Tucson, AZ - Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), who was shot in the head during a public event in Tucson on Saturday, is a member of the House LGBT Equality Caucus and is a strong supporter of gay rights including gay marriage.

The Congresswoman was shot and an aide was killed Saturday when an assailant open fire in an area where the lawmaker was meeting with constituents, according to media reports.

Also killed was U.S. District Judge John Roll and a young child. Giffords remains in critical condition.

Police have identified the suspect as 22-year-old Jared Laughner.

The 40-year-old Giffords, who's husband is astronaut Mark Kelly, was reelected in November after a bitter battle with Republican and Tea Party favorite Jesse Kelly.

Giffords is pro-choice, supports embryonic stem cell research and gay marriage.

The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, reacted to the tragic shooting. HRC President Joe Solmonese released the following statement:

"We are shocked and saddened by the events involving Congresswoman Giffords and our hearts go out to her and the other victims of this awful tragedy. Gabby Giffords is a champion for LGBT equality and a principled leader for Arizona. We wish her a speedy recovery as our thoughts and prayers are with her family as well as with the families of all of those touched by today's horrific violence."

A candlelight vigil is planned for Rep. Giffords Saturday night at 6 p.m. at the Arizona State Capitol.