In the wake of the Orlando tragedy, people from across the U.S. and world have spoken out in memory of the victims of the mass shooting and in support of the LGBTQ community. Earlier today, the co-chairs of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, the six openly LGBTQ members of Congress, released statements on the tragedy:
“While all acts of terrorism are horrific, the mass shooting in Orlando struck especially close to home for members of the LGBT community. Venues like Pulse are more than just a nightclub. They are a place of community where people can go for fellowship and to be themselves,” said Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO). “As a community, we will once again rise up and show that love will always prevail over hate.”
“It’s outrageous that LGBT Americans continue to be the targets of such horrific hatred and violence in 2016, “said Congressman David Cicilline (D-RI). “Don’t let anyone tell you that we have full equality in this country. LGBT people are not political wedge issues – we are human beings and we are entitled to full equality under the law. I hope that, in the aftermath of this horrific shooting, our country will move towards greater love and acceptance of all Americans.”
“I am horrified by this hateful act of terror targeting the LGBT community in Orlando,” said Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ). “The victims are our brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, neighbors and friends, and their loss is sickening. It is unconscionable that we face yet another an act of hate and terror. We must stand together to defeat terrorists at home and abroad.”
"This is a very dark moment for the country and for the LGBT community,” said Congressman Mark Takano (D-CA). “My heart is broken for the victims of this horrific tragedy and their families. On too many occasions, the LGBT community has been forced to overcome moments of deep sadness and loss and emerged stronger. We will do so this time, as well. Pride month is a celebration of compassion, acceptance, and, most of all, love. Instead of hate and anger, these are the ideas that will prevail.”
“I am devastated by the horrific shooting at Pulse and firmly believe we should take our example from the brave parishioners in Charleston, who even in the immediate aftermath of that horrific shooting responded with love and dignity,” said Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY). “This attack at a gay nightclub during Pride Month appears to be an attack driven by hate – hate for our community, our values, and a senseless disregard for innocent life. We must come together to have a serious and rigorous conversation as a country about the threats posed by gun violence, terrorism, and anti-LGBT hatred.”
“As we grapple with the horrific events that took place in Orlando, my thoughts are with the families of the victims and everyone affected during Pride Month,” said Congressman Mark Pocan (D-WI). “The targeting of the LGBT individuals in this heinous act of violence has reignited many fears and uncertainty in our community. As a country, we must stand together to denounce bigotry and hatred and embrace love and acceptance.”
The LGBT Equality Caucus has been at the forefront of advancing LGBTQ equality in Congress. All six co-chairs of the caucus are co-sponsors of the Equality Act, with Rep. Cicilline as the lead sponsor of the bill, and have received perfect scores on HRC’s Congressional Scorecard.
HRC joins the LGBT Equality Caucus Co-Chairs in mourning those lost in Orlando and remembering the lives of the many—almost all LGBTQ Latinx people—who were taken far too soon. HRC has created an Online Vigil for the victims and survivors of the tragic Orlando attack. Here, members of the LGBTQ community and allies can send a message of comfort, solidarity, or heartbreak so we can heal together.