Anti-gay group Mission America has issued a backhanded condemnation of an attack on a gay club in Tel Aviv that left two dead and eleven wounded, four seriously.

In a statement posted at the group's website, President Linda Harvey offered her condolences to the victims: “We are deeply saddened by this violent act and the deaths of these young people, and pray for the perpetrator to be found and brought to justice.”

But then Harvey strayed from supporting the victims to attacking their sexuality: “No one needs to be involved in homosexuality, but unfortunately, these two young people can no longer hear that message.”

Whether 16-year-old Liz Trubeshi was a lesbian or simply questioning remains unknown; classmates say she never spoke of her sexuality. Nir Katz, the 26-year-old gay youth center counselor, left behind a partner of four years.

Harvey said the purpose of gay youth centers was to “legitimize this [gay] behavior and draw young people into claiming a homosexual identity.”

Mission American is the Christian-based group opposed to gay-straight clubs in public schools, and the National Day of Silence, which brings attention to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender bullying in schools.

The statement also included a plea to end a rush to judgment against ultra-Orthodox Jewish leaders who have vociferously denounced being gay.

“... it is deplorable this incident is already being used by the homosexual community to blame this act on those holding a traditional moral viewpoint. Israelis, just as anyone else on Earth, should still have the right to oppose homosexuality for religious or other reasons without being called accessories to murder. The motive is still unknown; why engage in slanderous speculation?”

“Are those who bravely stand up against the deviance of homosexuality – which violates the dignity and worth of those involved – responsible for all crime against those drawn to the lifestyle? This kind of bigotry has no place in a civilized society and is wildly irresponsible, unjust and inaccurate.”

Gay activists have said the attack was motivated by hate, and suggested that the lone attacker might have been influenced by the rhetoric of anti-gay ultra-Orthodox Jewish leaders.

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