Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, a pro-LGBT Democrat from Arizona, was shot and seriously wounded at a constituent meeting Saturday in Tucson.
She was among at least 12 people shot at the event; at least five have died, including a 9-year-old child and a federal judge, according to media reports. A hospital surgeon confirmed that Giffords is out of surgery and said he is “very optimistic about recovery.”
The Human Rights Campaign gave Giffords an 81 percent pro-LGBT rating on its congressional scorecard for the 110th Congress. She supported repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and supports a trans-inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
HRC released the following statement in response to the shooting: “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.”
Giffords was among a group of 20 members of Congress targeted by Sarah Palin on her website for supporting health care reform. Palin’s site included a map with Giffords’ district depicted in crosshairs. Police have a suspect in custody; officials have not yet said whether they think the shooting is linked to Palin’s site. The map has been removed from Palin’s site.