We are reeling from the tragic news that a gunman opened fire on the 2am capacity crowd at Pulse leaving 20 people dead and 42 injured according to preliminary reports. 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 has become 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.
Southern Poverty Law Center:
Our hearts go out to the injured and to the families of those who died in the senseless act of domestic terrorism in Orlando. While the full facts are still unknown, unfortunately it is not surprising that the LGBT community was targeted. This community has long been vilified by those opposed to LGBT rights and is too often the target of violent hate crimes. We are continuing to monitor the situation.
Human Rights Campaign:
We are devastated by this tragic act of violence, which has reportedly claimed the lives of at least 50 LGBTQ people and allies and injured more than 50 others. We are grieving for the victims and our hearts are broken for their friends, families, and for the entire community. This tragedy has occurred as our community celebrates pride, and now more than ever we must come together as a nation to affirm that love conquers hate. We are grateful that President Obama has directed the FBI and other federal agencies to support the investigation of this attack and the LGBTQ community during this time.
US House LGBT Caucus:
The entire LGBT Equality Caucus is horrified by the tragic shooting in Orlando. 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.
National LGBTQ Task Force:
We are deeply shocked by this appalling act of violence against the LGBTQ community and our friends. Our thoughts are with the families and friends of those who have lost loved ones and with the injured. While the motive behind this crime remains unclear, our resolve to live openly and proudly remains undiminished. Now is a time for the whole nation to stand together against violence.
Lambda Legal joins the people around the country in expressing our sorrow and outrage at the terrible and deadly attack on patrons at a gay bar in Orlando, Florida. Our first thoughts, as they must be, are with the loved ones of those who were killed and with those who were injured or who witnessed this horrific assault. We offer our deepest sympathies and our hopes that those who were wounded will recover.
Though little is known at this hour about the attacker, the police have characterized this as an act of domestic terrorism and news reports indicate that it was a hate crime. It occurred during LGBT Pride Month, only days after 150,000 people participated in a pride celebration in Orlando.
As an organization that fights every day for justice for LGBT people and people living with HIV, we also raise our voice this morning to say “No more hatred and violence against our community!” We will continue to stand up for the dignity and equality of every member of the communities we represent – to demand fair and effective responses from police and the criminal justice systems; to fight for laws that prohibit discrimination, not encourage or require it; and to expect public officials and leaders across the country to unite us in justice.