Today, HRC will honor the lives of the 49 people – most of them young, LGBTQ and Latinx - killed in the attack at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando on June 12, 2016.
“In our work to achieve a future free from hate and fear, we carry with us the memories of the 49 LGBTQ people and allies -- nearly all of them Latinx -- whose lives were cruelly and senselessly taken at Pulse,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “In the three years since that tragic night, thousands more have been killed by guns, horrifically underscoring the failure of too many of our elected leaders to implement common-sense gun reform. Today and every day, we must honor those taken with action, and HRC remains committed to working with our coalition partners to finally ensure meaningful steps are taken before one more life is lost to gun violence.”
On Wednesday, HRC staff and members will mark the day by holding a public reading of the victims’ names and observing a moment of silence at the HRC headquarters in Washington, D.C. at 11 am ET.
The Pulse nightclub shooting, which took place at an Orlando LGBTQ nightclub on Latinx Night, was the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history until the tragic mass shooting on October 1, 2017, during an outdoor concert in Las Vegas.
These and other mass shootings like those in Sutherland Springs and Pittsburgh, some of them motivated by white supremacy and anti-Semitism, serve as a dire call to ensure comprehensive gun reform in the United States.
HRC backs common-sense gun violence prevention policy measures and policies aimed at addressing the epidemic of hate that has fueled anti-LGBTQ-motivated murder, assault, and discrimination. For decades, LGBTQ people have been a target for bias-motivated violence, and easy access to deadly weapons has compounded this threat. Transgender women are disproportionately impacted by fatal violence, the majority of whom are Black transgender women. In 2018, advocates tracked at least 26 deaths of transgender people in the U.S. due to fatal violence. Common-sense gun violence prevention measures endorsed by HRC include banning access to assault-style rifles, expanding background checks, and limiting the ability for suspected terrorists and those with a history of domestic abuse to access guns.
Last year, HRC joined survivors and family members of Pulse in the historic #MarchForOurLives march and rally in Washington, D.C.