An #HonorTheWithAction rally took place outside Orlando City Hall at 6pm yesterday. Campaigners and survivors of the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, led the event.
Today (12 June) marks the two-year anniversary of the mass shooting at the Latin night of the LGBTI nightclub.
Omar Mateen, 29, entered the club in the early hours of the morning and embarked on a deadly rampage. He killed 49 and left 53 others injured. He died at the scene when shot by police. At the time, it was the worst mass shooting in US history.
Since that time, further mass shootings have rocked Florida. Earlier this year, 17 died at the a hands of a shooter at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
The rally took place to ‘demand action from political leaders to end the epidemic of gun violence, reject NRA influence, and address the forgotten needs of the community’.
Organizations supporting the rally included Campaign To Keep Guns Off Campus, Equality Florida, Gays Against Guns, Moms Demand Action ad QLatinx, among others.
Many of those attending want stricter gun control, including a ban on assault weapons, tightened background checks, and greater resources for mental health support.
Governor Rick Scott
They also say Florida’s Republican governor, Rick Scott, has not done enough to protect local LGBTI communities from discrimination and is an ally of the National Rifle Association (NRA). In 2017, Scott refused to sign an anti-LGBT discrimination executive order.
‘We asked the governor to protect us, and sign an executive order, saying that we would not be discriminated against in our workplace. We were met with excuses,’ Orlando shooting survivor Brandon Wolf said at Monday’s rally.
Other speakers included a survivor of the Parkland shooting.
It rained intermittently throughout the rally. However, many were quick to note the rainbow that emerged in the sky towards the end of the event.
On attendee, instagram user @erothwellfl, told GSN the event was ‘very inspiring.
‘The message was a very resounding one to vote out politicians that don’t support common sense gun reform. The message was also about embracing our differences and giving everyone a seat at the table and standing up for marginalized communities.
‘I was proud to stand in the rain and promise to honor with action. It seems like a sign from the 49 angels lost too soon when a rainbow appeared at the end.’
Further Pulse memorials take place today in New York City, San Francisco, Washington DC and other parts of the US.