In light of the 49 Orlando victims who were slaughtered in a mass shooting by a lone gunman in the United States, SASOD hosted a vigil in support of the families who lost their loved ones in such a brutal manner.
Managing Director of the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) Joel Simpson condemned the brutal act on the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) community. He noted that while their communities are grieving they will bounce back from the adversities since they are a resilient and courageous group of people.
“The Orlando massacre was both an act of terror and a hate crime. It was the deadliest mass shooting in the United States of America and it was targeted specifically against the LGBT community. Our communities are struck with grief all around the world,” denounced Simpson.
He noted night clubs are very important since it is one of the safe spaces that the LGBT community can gain refuge. It is a time for us to come together and stop these acts of discrimination.
Simpson thanked the Guyanese community for their overwhelming support and solidarity during this bereaved period.
Minister of Social Protection Volda Lawrence expressed disappointment with the act that claimed so many lives at once, noting the potential that the world has lost in the Orlando Massacre.
“It is impossible to fathom the grief and trauma of what has been perpetuated but at the same time we have witnessed the outpouring of love and support in the aftermath. On behalf of the Ministry of Social Protection and on my own behalf I would like to lend my heartfelt support. It is difficult to imagine this era of Freedom of expression and tolerance for our sexual preferences that such biases continue to exist,” lamented Minister Lawrence.
Former Minister of Housing and Water Irfaan Alli disclosed that, “despite this act did not occur in Guyana, we have to remember that Guyanese usually go to these same places for vacations and possibility exists that Guyanese could have been in the midst of the shooting.
“We are living in what some described as dangerous times, in whatever challenge we face globally what occurred in Orlando cannot and must not be called anything but horrific, it is a terror act and it was done by someone who cannot be classified as having human attributes. I want to join with everyone in condemning this,” said Alli.
US Ambassador Perry Holloway condemned the act of terrorism and encouraged to answer the massacre with peace.
“The events that took place in Orlando was devastating to too many, our hearts go out to the families who have lost their loved-ones and to the ones who have been wounded” Holloway remarked.