Ryan T. Anderson of the Heritage Foundation, co-author of the book 'What is Marriage?' agreed. "Anti-LGBT bigotry exists and is wrong. It should be condemned," he told CNA. "But supporting man-woman marriage and male-female bathrooms aren't examples of it."
Dr. Robert George, a law professor at Princeton University and senior fellow at the Witherspoon Institute, said the accusations would normally be considered "outrageous and defamatory" but "can be forgiven" since they were issued shortly after a mass shooting that was a "truly traumatizing event," and at a time "when people are angry and grieving."
Americans must mourn together and not point fingers at each other, he insisted.
"Now is not a time for returning rhetorical fire or trying to make a person who has said something regrettable look foolish. It is certainly not a time for people on either, or any, side of a moral or political dispute to attempt to score points or advance an agenda," said George, who also co-authored the book 'What is Marriage?'
Rather, "it is a time for grieving" and "a time for prayer and a time for solidarity," he said.
After the shooting, Christian leaders expressed their condolences for the victims and their families.
Catholic bishops have asked for prayers for all involved. Masses are being offered for victims, both in Orlando and around the country. "The merciful love of Christ calls us to solidarity with the suffering and to ever greater resolve in protecting the life and dignity of every person," said Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, head of the U.S. bishops' conference, in a statement.
"We weep with those who mourn their loved ones as we also weep with those who mourn the presence of such violent evil in the world. Rom 12:15," Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, tweeted on Monday.
"Like all Americans, I am deeply saddened and outraged by the murder of 49 Americans in Orlando," Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Jerry Boykin, executive vice president of the Family Research Council, stated on Monday in a Facebook post.
"Our prayers go out to all those affected by the Florida shooting," the National Organization for Marriage tweeted on Monday.