House LGBT Caucus Commemorates Tragic Pulse Shooting on One-Year Anniversary

Jun 12, 2017
Press Release

1727 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515

Date: June 12, 2017       Contact:  Roddy Flynn, (202) 257-8416

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

House LGBT Caucus Commemorates Tragic Pulse Shooting on One-Year Anniversary

Washington D.C. - Today, the Co-Chairs of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus released the following statements in remembrance of last year’s shooting at the historic Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, FL, in which 49 people were murdered.

“Today, we remember the 49 people killed one year ago at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando,” said Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09). “Our thoughts continue to be with those impacted by this unconscionable and hateful act of terror that targeted the LGBT community. Our community is no stranger to loss and adversity, and from trying times we always emerge stronger. These senseless attacks seek to divide us and instill fear in our communities. We will not let them.”

“The Pulse shooting was driven by unspeakable hate – hate for our community, our values, and a senseless disregard for innocent life,” said Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18).  “Especially today and throughout Pride Month, my heart is in Orlando with the families who lost their loved ones. It’s been a year since the shooting and we’ve made little progress in combating gun violence, terrorism, and anti-LGBTQ hatred – and that has to change.” 

The Pulse Nightclub shooting is the worst mass shooting in recent American history.  The attack occurred in the early morning on June 12, 2016.  On the night of the shooting, Pulse Nightclub was hosting Latin night, a celebration of the large and vibrant Latin American LGBT community in the Orlando area.

“On the one year anniversary of the Pulse massacre, we continue to grieve for the victims of this horrific attack, their loved ones, and everyone impacted by this tragedy,” said Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-02).  “The heinous targeting of the LGBT community – especially in a space created for LGBT people to celebrate their identity – was an act of cowardice, and we stand united in solidarity against violence, hatred, and bigotry. This month, LGBT Americans will embody the values of love and acceptance in Pride celebrations across the country and the globe, demonstrating the resilience and strength of our community. Further, I will continue pushing Congress to honor the memories of the 49 individuals lost in the Pulse shooting by taking meaningful action to stop the epidemic of gun violence.”

“Plain and simple, the Orlando shooting was a direct attack on equality, diversity, and freedom,” said Rep. Jared Polis (CO-02).  “It was a painful reminder that when one community is attacked by hate, we are all effected as Americans.  Today, far too many people are being targeted because of who they are, and that runs counter to what the United States is all about. To honor the memory of the victims, we must continue to advocate for love over hate in every regard.”

The 49 people who died in the shooting are Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34; Stanley Almodovar III, 23; Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20; Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22; Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36; Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22; Luis S. Vielma, 22; Kimberly Morris, 37; Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30; Darryl Roman Burt II, 29; Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32; Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21; Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25; Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35; Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50; Amanda Alvear, 25; Martin Benitez Torres, 33; Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37; Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26; Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35; Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25; Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31; Oscar A. Aracena-Montero, 26; Enrique L. Rios Jr., 25; Miguel Angel Honorato, 30; Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40; Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32; Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19; Cory James Connell, 21; Luis Daniel Conde, 39; Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33; Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25; Jerald Arthur Wright, 31; Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25; Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25; Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24; Jean C. Nives Rodriguez, 27; Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33; Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49; Yilmary Rodriguez Sulivan, 24; Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32; Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28; Frank Hernandez, 27; Paul Terrell Henry, 41; Antonio Davon Brown, 29; Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24; Akyra Monet Murray, 18; and Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, 25.

“One year later, our hearts are still broken for the innocent men and women who lost their lives at Pulse Nightclub. This horrific attack on the LGBT community is still fresh in our minds, and we continue to offer our support to the victims and their loved ones,” said Rep. David Cicilline (RI-01). “This Pride Month, let’s remember the lives that were lost and commit ourselves to achieving justice and full equality in our time. No American should ever feel like they are treated less than equal. It’s on all of us to continue fighting until we make this a reality.”

“The attack at Pulse Nightclub was a horrific hate crime targeting the LGBT community during a month dedicated to the celebration of diversity and equality,” said Rep. Mark Takano (CA-41).  “Today we honor the memories of the 49 people who were murdered that day and we comfort the families and friends who continue grieving. Pride Month is an opportunity to hail our progress toward equal rights and revel in the freedom to be who we are. But it also a time to remember those who have died because they were different– in Orlando, at Stonewall, and in cities and town across the country. We will never forget them.”

LGBT Equality Caucus member Rep. Stephanie Murphy represents much of the Orlando community so affected by the Pulse shooting.

 “This June, we remember the lives lost during the Pulse attack and send our thoughts to their families and to the survivors of that horrific tragedy,” said Rep. Stephanie Murphy (FL-07).  “On this occasion, we honor their memories and reflect on the unity and resilience that Orlando showed in its darkest hour. We owe it to the victims and their families to do everything within our power to prevent tragedies like this from happening again. As Americans, let us recognize Orlando United Day by putting aside that which divides us and rededicating ourselves to treating one another with the love and respect we all deserve. We must forever remain Orlando United and Orlando Strong.”

Please contact LGBT Equality Caucus Executive Director Roddy Flynn at roddy.flynn@mail.house.gov or (202) 257-8416 (cell) with media inquiries.

The mission of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus is to promote lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) equality. The bi-partisan LGBT Equality Caucus is strongly committed to achieving the full enjoyment of human rights for LGBT people in the U.S. and around the world. By serving as a resource for Members of Congress, their staff, and the public on LGBT issues, the Caucus works toward the extension of equal rights, the repeal of discriminatory laws, the elimination of hate-motivated violence, and the improved health and wellbeing for all regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.

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