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Religious Conservatives Face Backlash After Orlando Nightclub Massacre

A google search for the Florida Family Policy Council says its website has been hacked. President John Stemberger confirms the site has been hacked several times.

Some religious conservatives are being labeled as hypocrites for offering words of support following the mass shooting at an Orlando area gay nightclub. But one Florida leader says it's not hypocritical to express a value while also sympathizing with victims of the attack.

The Florida Family Policy Council’s website has been hacked several times in the past few weeks with the latest attack coming in the wake of a mass shooting in Orlando. The organization has lobbied against same sex marriage and abortion. Its president, John Stemberger has been blasted on social media for his letter of condolences to victims of the shooting at an Orlando gay nightclub.

"This is my community," says Stemberger, whose office is nearby. "They’re not gay people in my eyes they are human beings. They’re my neighbors. They’re Americans. And so it saddens me greatly, not just that it happened, but that these activists are going to attack us, and me specifically, for just trying to show compassion.”

Critics say those words of support come as groups like the council have opposed LGBT issues including protections for workers.

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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