The La Riva/Puryear campaign extends our condolences to the partners, families and the loved ones of those who were killed in the terrorist action in Orlando over night, and extends our condolences and solidarity to the LGBTQ community in this month of Pride. We stand in solidarity with the greater LGBTQ community which has been targeted by bigots and bigotry that has become especially pronounced during the last year.
The La Riva/Puryear campaign condemns the homophobic attack on the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla. that took the lives of at least 50 people and left more than 50 others with gunshot wounds. We know all too often when attacks take place on oppressed people they are tagged as hate crimes. This was a terrorist action against LGBTQ people. It is disgusting that the mass media was reticent to use the term terrorism for this mass murder as if the label terrorist should only be applied to actions committed by so-called Islamic organizations. When Black people are murdered, or women’s health care facilities become the scene of mass murder, or when there is a slaughter conducted against LGBTQ people, the media professes the need to “wait to see if this is a terrorist action,” thus the label terrorism is based on the identity of the attacker and not on the act of terror committed.
We do not know the exact genesis of the attack, but it has initially been attributed to a man with an anti-gay history and extreme domestic violence against his former wife.
The attack takes place in an atmosphere that has been fraught with an anti-LGBTQ backlash in the wake of the same-sex marriage equality victories won in the last year. The passage of HB-2 targeting transgender people encourages discrimination and hate. The call for the execution of gay people by Rev. Swanson who hosted an Iowa Republican presidential campaign rally in November of 2015, attended by Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee and Bobby Jindal, both reinforces and creates an atmosphere of murderous violence towards LGBTQ people and others.
We must be on guard against the whipping up of anti-Muslim and anti-Arab bigotry and racism. These same right-wing forces in the United States have targeted the LGBTQ community. These same forces have been whipping up hatred and violence against Muslims, Arab Americans and people from South Asia. We stand together with the LGBTQ and Muslim and Arab communities in rejecting hatred and bigotry.
The La Riva/Puryear campaigns stands with the LGBTQ community in this month of Pride. The PSL will continue to mobilize for participation in the events this month to continue the struggle against homophobia and for full LGBTQ liberation.