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Local LGBT community leaders react to Orlando shootings

Local LGBT community leaders offer their condolences to San Diego after mass shooting in Orlando.
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As the devastation of the worst mass shooting in U.S. history continues to affect people in the United States, San Diego community leaders are reaching out to locals, offering support to those who are still in shock at the events that took place this morning at Pulse nightclub in Orlando.

Chief Executive Officer of The San Diego LGBT Community Center (The Center), Delores Jacobs (above left), expressed her condolences to the many people affected by the tragedy:

“We are simply devastated at the news of this horrific loss of life in Orlando. Unfortunately, our LGBT community is far too familiar with violence. This shooting – during LGBT Pride month – is now the deadliest mass shooting in United States history. 

“Our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their friends and families. This weekend, and over the coming days, our community around the country will hold vigils and other commemorations of support, solidary and strength.”

Joselyn Harris (below left), Board President of the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation applauds not only the quick response to the shootings by Orlando’s law enforcement agencies, but also to local officials who are working hard to make San Diego safe for the Pride festivities happening in July.

"We are so heartbroken over the news of the mass shooting in Orlando last evening at Pulse night club where hundreds gathered for an evening of fun, friendship and celebration. It is absolutely devastating to even comprehend the horror our brothers and sisters endured inside the venue. We salute the Orlando community - from law enforcement to first responders to Pulse staff members - for stepping up to quickly administer assistance to those in need.

As we are learning the details of the Orlando situation, we also became aware of the suspect arrested in Los Angeles, who allegedly had a vehicle with guns and explosives for possible use at L.A. Pride. If you are attending L.A. Pride festivities, please exercise extra caution and be safe.

We applaud San Diego’s civic leadership - Mayor Kevin Faulconer, SDPD Chief Shelley Zimmerman, Susan Jester, Nicole Murray-Ramirez and others - who are now focusing on working together to do whatever it takes to protect the citizens of San Diego, especially as our community plans for San Diego PRIDE in July.

The act in Orlando was one of domestic terrorism. Acts like these continue to underscore the importance of advocating for a tolerant and inclusive community. The LGBT community and its allies cannot give up the fight for equality and safety. If you see something, say something."

Councilmember and LGBT community member Todd Gloria (above, lower left) also issued a statement about the attack to the community:

“The brutal massacre in Orlando which took 50 innocent lives and injured 53 more is an attack on all Americans and our values of freedom and inclusion that are the foundation of our nation” said Councilmember Gloria. “I ask San Diegans to keep the victims and their loved ones in their hearts today.”

“Since early this morning I have been in communication with the Mayor’s Office, San Diego Police Chief Shelly Zimmerman, and local leaders in our LGBT community to make certain that we are doing all we can to ensure public safety locally. We will protect our residents as we stand in solidarity with people across the nation mourning last night’s tragic events.”       

The Center and its allies will gather together at The Center, 3909 Centre St., on Monday, June 13 for the San Diego United: #OrlandoStrong rally.

The doors to The Center will open at 6:30 pm, with a short program, followed by a candlelit vigil stopping at the Hillcrest Pride Flag and ending at Rich's nightclub. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to join us to stand together and unite in support of all those affected by this tragedy. For more information, call (619) 692-2077.