In the wake of the biggest mass shooting in American history, which took the lives of 50 people and wounded 53 more, in a LGBT nightclub massacre, politicians, organizations, and individuals in the United States and from around the world, are showing solidarity with an outpouring of grief and words of support:
We are still reeling from the tragic news that a gunman opened fire on the 2am capacity crowd at Orlando’s Pulse Nightclub leaving 50 people dead and 53 injured.
We are heartbroken and angry that senseless violence has once again destroyed lives in our state and in our country.
Gay clubs hold a significant place in LGBTQ history. They were often the only safe gathering place, and this horrific act strikes directly at our sense of safety. June commemorates our community standing up to anti-LGBTQ violence at the Stonewall Inn, the nightclub that became the first LGBTQ site recognized as a national monument.
We have received a steady stream of emails and messages from those seeking to help or to make sense of the senseless. We make no assumptions on motive. We will await the details in tears of sadness and anger. We stand in solidarity and keep our thoughts on all whose lives have been lost or altered forever in this tragedy.
TLDEF Mourns Tremendous Loss of Life in Orlando Nightclub Shooting:
From New York, The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF) voices deep sorrow over the horrific attack at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando. We mourn the tremendous loss of life and send our deepest condolences to all those who have lost loved ones in this tragedy.
It is particularly painful that this incident has happened at an LGBT nightclub during Pride Month, a time to celebrate the unique contributions of the LGBT community.
As investigations proceed, we stand in solidarity with our fellow advocates in condemning this heinous act of violence against our community.
We express our sincere appreciation for the support of President Obama who called the attack an “act of terror and an act of hate,” and underscored the profound impact of this tragedy on our community, stating in part:
“This is an especially heartbreaking day for all our friends – our fellow Americans – who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. The shooter targeted a nightclub where people came together to be with friends, to dance and to sing, and to live. The place where they were attacked is more than a nightclub – it is a place of solidarity and empowerment where people have come together to raise awareness, to speak their minds, and to advocate for their civil rights.”
Hearts hurt for the large number of people killed and injured in Orlando at Pulse. A night of dance and celebration during Gay Pride month turns into the deadliest mass shooting in the United States.
Almost a year ago, we mourned the massacre of nine people praying at an African American Church in South Carolina.
And hundreds have died in shootings on college campuses over the last few years.
Hatred, intolerance, and fear mix with the easy availability of guns to create death and destruction.
We stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ community even as we recommit ourselves to dismantling the cultural norms that lead to this kind of behavior.
Let’s pass sensible gun control laws. Let’s transform toxic forms of masculinity. Let’s build a world that moves away from from violence and fear to one that stands on respect, love and compassion.
Let’s dream a new world into being.
Holding all of us close,
President and CEO
NQAPIA Mourns Orlando Shooting Victims:
At a time when we are proudly celebrating our LGBTQ identities and community, we woke this morning to the horrifying news that at least fifty queer and trans people, including many people of color, were killed in one of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. This is just one in a very long line of tragedies involving gun violence in the U.S. These shootings cannot be the new normal, and we must demand our lawmakers enact commonsense measures to end the bloodshed.
As we mourn the lives that were lost and hold our loved ones tighter, we are also questioning yet again what safety means to us.
From the Stonewall riots to the HIV crisis to police brutality, queer people have long lived in terror in the U.S., largely at the hands of the state. And now, as many of us who are Muslim or South Asian—or perceived as such—brace for a backlash that is already underway, we recommit to creating safety outside of that state, for all of our LGBTQ family.
Watch President Obama’s remarks on the tragedy in Orlando:
This afternoon, President Obama delivered a statement on the tragic shooting that took place overnight in Orlando, Florida. Watch his full remarks:
“Today, as Americans, we grieve the brutal murder — a horrific massacre — of dozens of innocent people. We pray for their families, who are grasping for answers with broken hearts. We stand with the people of Orlando, who have endured a terrible attack on their city. Although it is still early in the investigation, we know enough to say that this was an act of terror and act of hate. And as Americans, we are united in our grief, our outrage and our resolve to defend our people.
“I just finished a meeting with FBI Director Comey and my homeland security and national security advisors. The FBI is on the scene and leading the investigation, in partnership with local law enforcement. I’ve directed that the full resources of the federal government be made available for this investigation.
“We’re still learning all the facts. This is an open investigation. We’ve reached no definitive judgment on the precise motivations of the killer. The FBI is appropriately investigating this as an act of terrorism. And I have directed that we must spare no effort to determine what — if any — inspiration or association this killer may have had with terrorist groups. What’s clear is that he was a person filled with hatred. Over the coming days, we will uncover why and how this happened, and we’ll go wherever the facts lead us.
“This morning I spoke with Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and conveyed the condolences of the entire American people. This could have been any one of our communities. So I told Mayor Dyer that whatever help that he and the people of Orlando need – they’re going to get it. As a country, we are going to be there for the people of Orlando today, tomorrow and all the days to come.
“We also express our profound gratitude to all the police and first responders who rushed into harm’s way. Their courage and professionalism saved lives, and kept the carnage from being worse. It’s the kind of sacrifice that our law enforcement professionals make every day for us all. We can never thank them enough.
“This is an especially heartbreaking day for all our friends — our fellow Americans — who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. The shooter targeted a nightclub where people came together to be with friends, to dance and sing-to live. The place where they were attacked is more than a nightclub — it’s a place of solidarity and empowerment where people have long come together to raise awareness, speak their mind and advocate for their civil rights. So this is a sobering reminder that attacks on any American — regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation — is an attack on all of us and on the fundamental values of equality and dignity that define us as a country. And no act of hate or terror will ever change who we are or the values that make us Americans.
“Today marks the most deadly shooting in American history. The shooter was apparently armed with a handgun and a powerful assault rifle. This massacre is therefore a further reminder of how easy it is for someone to get their hands on a weapon that lets them shoot people in a school, or a house of worship, or a movie theater, or in a nightclub. We have to decide if that’s the kind of country we want to be. And to actively do nothing — that’s a decision, too.
“In the coming hours and days, we’ll learn about the victims of this tragedy. Their names. Their faces. The joy they brought to families and friends. The difference they made in this world. Say a prayer for them and their families — that God give them the strength to bear the unbearable. That He give all of us the strength to be there for them, and the courage to change. We need to demonstrate that we are defined more – as a country — by the way they lived their lives, than by the hate of the man who took them from us.
“As we go forward together, we’ll draw inspiration from heroic and selfless acts — friends who helped friends, took care of each other and saved lives. In the face of hate and violence, we will love another. We will not give in to fear or turn on each other. Instead, we will stand together, united, as Americans, to protect our people, defend our nation and take action against those who threaten us.
“May God bless the Americans we lost this morning. May He comfort their families. And may God continue to watch over this country we love.”
Roddy Flynn, executive director of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, offered support for the Orlando community:
“The entire LGBT Equality Caucus is horrified by the tragic shooting in Orlando,” Flynn said in a statement. “Though details are still emerging, an attack during Pride Month against Pulse, an iconic gathering place for LGBT Floridians, has a particularly insidious impact on our entire community. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by this tragedy.”
Stuart Milk, nephew of gay activist Harvey Milk and co-founder of the Harvey Milk Foundation, said in a statement:
We send a world of love and prayers to all who are grieving today and to all who will begin the hard journey to recover from untold wounds, both physical and emotional. But our love and prayers are simply not enough. Hate and separation continue to bring forth too much grief, too many stolen lives across the whole world,” he said.
Gary Johnson, the Libertarian party’s presidential nominee and a former governor of New Mexico:
called the slaughter “both cowardly and infuriating” but warned against politicizing the situation.
“In this immediate aftermath of what is clearly a tragic and despicable attack, our thoughts must be with the victims. Regardless of what the motivation is ultimately found to be, this violence against innocent people simply going about their lives is both cowardly and infuriating,” Johnson said in a statement released Sunday afternoon. “We must allow the authorities to do their jobs, understand how this attack came about, and then respond accordingly. It is not a time to either politicize or jump to conclusions.”
“For now, we can say for certain that we need to redouble our efforts to defend our country from threats at home and abroad. That means defeating international terror groups, working with allies and partners to go after them wherever they are, countering their attempts to recruit people here and everywhere, and hardening our defenses at home,” she said. The former secretary of state specifically commented on the attack of an LGBT nightclub during Pride Month.
“To the LGBT community: please know that you have millions of allies across our country. I am one of them. We will keep fighting for your right to live freely, openly and without fear. Hate has absolutely no place in America,” she said.
She concluded her statement with a call for stricter gun control reforms, saying the incident “reminds us once more that weapons of war have no place on our streets.”
It’s horrific. It’s unthinkable, and just hopes go out to those who were shot that they can recover. We extend our heartfelt condolences to the victims’ families and loved ones and our thoughts are with the injured and the entire Orlando LGBTQ community.
I’ve got to tell you for 25 years now, I’ve believed that we should not be selling automatic weapons which are designed to kill people, and we’ve got to do everything we can on top of that to make sure that guns do not fall into the hands of people who should not have them. Criminals and people who are mentally ill, so that struggle continues.
Call to Action:
CALL TO ACTION: At least 50 people were killed last night in a horrific mass shooting at a gay club in Orlando, FL. At least another 53 were injured.As the news continues to peel back the layers on this terrible, tragic shooting and we grieve and mourn with Orlando, we must act now for common sense gun laws and to ban assault rifles. We must stop these mass shootings from tearing apart our communities.Click here to sign the petition, which says:
See events: Vigils and Solidarity Rallies: https://oblogdeeoblogda.me/2016/06/12/global-vigils-in-solidarity-for-orlando-lgbt-massacre/
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