One year ago, a gunman who pledged himself to ISIS showered bullets in an Orlando nightclub and carried out the most deadly shooting in US modern history.
On that night alone, 49 people were killed and many others injured. The attack happened on Latin Night at the gay bar Pulse.
Following the attack, vigils were held across the world including here in Brighton. Leaders spoke out in solidarity with those that lost their lives, and the United Nations Security Council issued a historic statement acknowledging the attack and its anti-gay bias.
Marking one year anniversary of the Orlando Massacre, Jessica Stern, Executive Director of OutRight action International said: “What happened in Orlando was a tragedy and unfortunately the persecution of LGBT+ people globally has not de-escalated since then. In the past year we have seen so many large-scale attacks on LGBT+ communities globally, from the mass killings in Orlando, to the arrests and torture of over 100 gay men in Chechnya – some of whom are still in prisons and mass arrests in Indonesia.
What we had during the Orlando shootings was global recognition and condemnation of violence and discrimination against the LGBT+ community. This was no more evident than in the historic statement by the United Nations Security Council, which for the first time included a reference to sexual orientation and so acknowledged the anti-gay hate motivated bias in the attack. This important statement sets a precedence in the international peace and security arena that LGBT+ are being targeted; that this is a matter of international concern.
If we ever hope to stop the escalation of violence against LGBT+ people, we need a global response like the one we had during Orlando. The human rights and lives of LGBT+ people must be recognised, respected and protected.”