On Friday, August 18, 2023, in the small mountain town of Cedar Glen, California, Laura Ann Carleton was shot and killed by a man who was offended that she was flying the Rainbow Flag outside her retail business. Ms. Carleton was a small businesswoman and an ally of the LGBTQ community. Her daughter, Ari Carleton, said that her mother “believed in love, acceptance, and equality.”
The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department officials said at a news conference on Monday, August 21, 2023, that they were still investigating the incident, but it was reported that the alleged shooter “yelled many homophobic slurs toward Carleton” before the attack and had posted content on social media that was critical of law enforcement and the LGBTQ community.
At the bedrock of BuildOUT California is our love and respect for our LGBTQ Allies in, and outside, the architecture, engineering, construction, and real estate development communities. The news of this senseless and horrific act of hatred has only served for us to more deeply cherish the strength, courage and resolve of those amazing individuals who say “we stand with you, we support you, and we are proud of our LGBTQ businesses, colleagues, family members, and friends.”
BuildOUT California joins with our sister organizations around the world within the Built Communities in condemning this horrific act of hatred. We denounce the senseless killing of innocent peoples of all backgrounds, religions, ethnicities, ages, and genders.
To the family and friends of Laura Ann Carleton, we thank you for sharing your remarkable wife, mother, friend, and community leader. To our LGBTQ Allies throughout the world, thank you for standing with us as we build a foundation of greater respect, equality and caring.