Prominent members of the LGBTI community here have expressed their condolences for the victims of the mass shooting that took place at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Grant Robertson Grant Robertson, Labour MP “This is a devastating time for the loved ones of those killed and injured. My heart breaks for them and for the lives and futures lost. They are who matters most today. What also matters is that we continue to affirm that love is love, that the future for LGBT people will be one of acceptance, understanding and joy. But only if we stand together, stand strong and never let hate win. Kia kaha, Orlando and LGBT people everywhere.” Karen Richie Karen Ritchie, Krd Safety Group “Such a world of hate we live in, it sickens me that people have to suffer from the hands of hate. My heart bleeds for the LGBTQI community, family and friends in Orlando. What does it take America for you to change the gun laws.” Rawa Karetai Rawa Karetai, Co-convenor at ILGA Oceania “This morning we are awakened by the collective sound of the wailing of the broken hearts of the parents, siblings, family and friends of those who lost their lives along with the survivors, and the broken hearts of millions of LGBTIQ family and friends around the world at the senseless massacre committed inside a safe space for the LGBTIQ citizens and visitors to Orlando Florida. “Though far from our shores in Oceania, we are connected by a shared set of values that is the very fabric of our struggle for a free and equal society. “Our prayers for the families, friends and loved ones who were lost to this tragedy. May your souls rest in love and peace. “Our prayers for the families, friends and loved ones of the survivors. May you find solace and comfort in the coming days. “Our prayers for the LGQTIQ community in Orlando Florida. May you all find some comfort in the knowledge that we share your pain. “Our continued prayers for the whole of the LGBTIQ movement in it’s continued fight to end homophobia and transphobia. “We at ILGA Oceania grieve with you and we stand with you all offering our prayers and support from a far.” Louisa Wall Louisa Wall, Labour MP “The news of the terrorist attack in Orlando is heartbreaking and I cried when I saw the footage and heard from families waiting to hear news of their loved ones. I agree with President Obama that this attack is one based on invoking terror and acting from a place of hatred. This place of hatred was for his fellow American citizens, wherever people gather in numbers, of women given his abuse of his previous partner and for our LGBTI community given the reports that "he" became enraged when he saw two men kissing. ISIS has claimed responsibility for this attack and it seems this individual was sympathetic to ISIS teachings. ISIS is an extremist militant group ruled by Sharia law and if this is a deliberate targeting of our LGBTI community in USA then we all need to be vigilant. This extremism cannot be tolerated and must be eliminated which is why homosexual law reform and eliminating child brides is so vital globally. Selecting our LGBTI community for such attacks also speaks to the ongoing human rights challenges for our LGBTI community in the US. At this time we must all stand unified, committed to eliminating such actions and these teachings.” Jan Logie Jan Logie, Green MP “Along with my colleagues I am standing with our diverse LGBTQI communities across the world calling for love, not hate. We cannot let this be used as an excuse to incite hate against any other group of people. We need to build bridges between people not walls. This has been gut wrenching to follow on social media and I can’t imagine the shock our communities must be feeling in Orlando and across America right now. When ‘our family’ is attacked for being themselves it affects all of us.” You can stay in touch with the unfolding tragedy and its aftermath in GayNZ.com's Live rolling coverage here.
Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News staff
First published: Monday, 13th June 2016 - 2:08pm
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