candle“Our hearts are heavy at this time and we extend our love and condolences to the friends and family of those affected by the horrific tragedy in Orlando.

This attack comes during Pride month when LGBTQ people around the world are celebrating the progress we’ve made towards achieving peace and equality for all. This outrageous and senseless attack impacts all of us. We need everyone to be united in the struggle against violence and discrimination.

Pulse nightclub was founded in part to honor a man who had died of AIDS and to promote awareness of the local LGBTQ community. Nightlife venues have historically been places of refuge for LGBTQ people and continue to serve an important role, keeping our community vibrant and connected.” – Rebecca Isaacs, Executive Director, Equality Federation


Equality Florida Statement on Mass Shooting at Orlando Gay Club

We are reeling from the tragic news that a gunman opened fire on the 2am capacity crowd at Pulse leaving 50 people dead and over 50 injured according to preliminary reports.

We are heartbroken and angry that senseless violence has once again destroyed lives in our state and in our country.

Gay clubs hold a significant place in LGBTQ history. They were often the only safe gathering place and this horrific act strikes directly at our sense of safety. June commemorates our community standing up to anti-LGBTQ violence at the Stonewall Inn, the nightclub that has become the first LGBTQ site recognized as a national monument.

We have received a steady stream of emails and messages from those seeking to help or to make sense of the senseless. We make no assumptions on motive. We will await the details in tears of sadness and anger. We stand in solidarity and keep our thoughts on all whose lives have been lost or altered forever in this tragedy.

Plans are underway for the following. More details to come.

COUNSELING AVAILABLE:

* The GLBT Community Center of Central Florida is referring folks to First Unitarian Church, 1901 east Robinson street, Orlando, FL 32803 for grief counseling.

*For anyone needing support today, you may call the Zebra Coalition hotline at (407) 228-1446 to speak to a counselor.

* From the UCF LGBT student services director: There is counseling available to UCF students today from 12pm-5pm, in the student union room 313. Our LGBT student hang out space, Pride Commons, will reopen Monday through Friday from 9am-5pm, with group counseling available from 1pm-2pm daily

* Muslim Counselors: Naseema 786-473-6017 & Sakina Issa 407-484-2724

* Kids/teens counselor Austin Hill: 941-468-7062

BLOOD DRIVES:

Earlier today OneBlood, the local blood bank in Orlando, posted an emergency need for O-, O+, and AB Plasma in the light of last night’s tragedy. They are currently asking folks to wait until later this week to donate because of the overwhelming numbers of people who responded to their first call for blood donations this morning. To find a donation center or Big Red Bus near you visit www.oneblood.org or call 1.888.9Donate.

  • Gainesville:

LifeSouth Community Blood Center is open today and taking donations.

  • Miami Beach:

Soundscape Park at 7pm

  • Orlando:

First Unitarian Church
1901 East Robinson Street
Orlando, FL 32803
now through 1 PM

Weingarten Realty
2566 E Colonial Drive
12 pm-6 pm

Orlando Donor Center
8669 Commodity Circle
now til 1 o’clock

West Orlando Donor Center
345 W Michigan St Suite 106
now til 2 o’clock

  • Tallahassee:

OneBlood will be opening up from 1PM-5PM for blood donations. The address is 1731 Riggins Road.

VIGIL(S):

A vigil tomorrow pending clearance from police. To receive updates on the vigil with details as we receive them, sign up here: http://www.eqfl.org/pulse_vigil

  • Broward – Vigil held on Sunday, June 12 at Pride Center in Wilton Manors tonight at 5pm
  • Jacksonville – Vigil held on Sunday, June 12 in Jacksonville at 7pm at Memorial Park
  • Miami – Vigil held on Sunday, June 12 at 7pm at SoundScape Park, located at 500 17 Street, Miami Beach, FL

GO FUND ME:

* A GoFundMe account has been set up to help raise funds for the victims and families of the horrific Orlando Pulse Nighclub Shooting: https://www.gofundme.com/PulseVictimsFund

 

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Mark Snyder

Mark Snyder is the Director of Communications for Equality Federation, and he wishes you a wonderful day. Please share this post with your friends and family.

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