June 12th is a new major LGBTQ Day of Remembrance as we pay tribute to the 49 lives lost and the dozens of injured from the 2016 massacre at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
Several national organizations paid tribute to the memory of Pulse/Orlando while also urging action for individuals to step up to fight for stronger gun laws.
The Human Rights Commission (HRC) released this letter from Christine Leinonen, the mother of Pulse victim Christopher Leinonen urging people to register to vote and then vote in legislators committed to tougher gun laws.
Two years ago today, I experienced a mother’s worst nightmare.
My son, Christopher Leinonen, was murdered, along with his boyfriend Juan and 47 other people at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando.
I miss Christopher so much, and it breaks my heart that he’ll never have the opportunity to live out his dreams. And it angers me that the tragedy that took my son’s life was followed by so many other ones that were preventable.
Let’s prevent future tragedies from happening by raising our voices for all those who were lost and pledging to vote this November. My son lost his voice and his vote, but you still have yours! Please honor him, and all the victims, with action: pledge to vote in the midterm elections.
Since Christopher’s death, I’ve called on politicians to do better by the LGBTQ community. But little has been done in Congress to change this, and too many innocent people have died to gun violence.
We can control who we send to Congress, so let’s send a message this year that we demand action — and use our votes to elect people who will work to change laws to prevent violence, stand up for our most vulnerable, and use their position for the good of all.
This November, we all need to get out there and vote! We must do it for our children and for every LGBTQ person who fears that they could be the next victim. Vote to prevent this from happening again. I urge you to honor all those lost with your action — pledge to vote.
Together, we will continue to change hearts, minds and laws and prevent future tragedies from happening.
Equality California also released this statement honoring the lives of Pulse victims while also stressing the need for tougher gun laws.
Equality California, the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ civil rights organization, released the following statement from Executive Director Rick Zbur on the second anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub tragedy in Orlando, Florida:
“Two years ago, the world lost 49 members of our LGBTQ and Latinx communities in a tragic mass shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
“Since that night, we’ve fought every day for common sense gun safety legislation in Sacramento and our nation’s capital, recognizing the fact that ending the sickeningly repetitive cycle of gun violence in America is as much an ‘LGBTQ issue’ as any other. Because as long as someone can walk into a school or a movie theatre or a house of worship — or a nightclub — with a semi-automatic weapon, then none of us are safe.
“This year, we’ve seen a movement of young leaders — unjaded, uncorrupted and unwilling to wait for the rest of us to catch up — join the LGBTQ community and our allies in the fight to end gun violence. They, along with the Pulse survivors and the families of those who were lost at Pulse, give me so much hope that for our future. As dark as these days may seem sometimes, we can take comfort in the fact that young leaders like Emma González and Naomi Wadler and Cameron Kasky are the future — and the future is fearless.
“Two years after that tragic night in Orlando, Equality California continues to honor the memory of those who were taken from us — and the memories of every other child, sibling, student, friend, coworker and neighbor lost to gun violence — by rededicating ourselves to the fight for gun safety. We’re giving it everything we’ve got. And we’re incredibly grateful to have you fighting alongside us.”
In response to the 2016 Pulse shooting, Equality California launched its #SafeAndEqual initiative to support stricter gun safety laws in California, resulting in the enactment of six bills and the passage of Proposition 63, together giving the state the nation’s strictest protections against gun violence.
Equality California is the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ civil rights organization. We bring the voices of LGBTQ people and allies to institutions of power in California and across the United States, striving to create a world that is healthy, just, and fully equal for all LGBTQ people. We advance civil rights and social justice by inspiring, advocating and mobilizing through an inclusive movement that works tirelessly on behalf of those we serve. www.eqca.org
And, locally, QUEER BAR, released this statement and vowed to donate all proceeds from the June 20th Eureka O’Hara performance to the campaign to help pass WA State Initiative 1639: Safe Schools, Safe Communities which would toughen semi-automatic gun laws in Washington State.
The Alliance for Gun Responsibility, the backers of WA State Initiative 1639: Safe Schools, Safe Communities recently received a million dollar donation from Seattle billionaire Paul Allen. For more info on I-1639, go here.