Columbus Responds to Orlando Shooting

Walker Evans Walker Evans Columbus Responds to Orlando ShootingSupporters gather to show solidarity — Photo via Stonewall Columbus.
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In the early hours of Sunday morning, a terrorist mass shooting took place at a gay nightclub in Orlando, and fifty people were killed. News coverage has focused on the tragedy throughout the day, and local leaders and organizations have offered their condolences and support in the wake of the news.

Stonewall Columbus organized a gathering at 1:30pm today at their Short North offices to show solidarity and support for both the victims and survivors. Below are additional responses and statements from local leadership as it relates to this terrible news:

Equality Ohio Executive Director Alana Jochum:

“I can’t put into words the loss we all feel. That the largest shooting in modern American history happened at a gay bar is a sign that we have a long, long way to go.

Today, I also remember that transgender people, in particular Black and brown transgender women, face incredible violence just for existing.

We have marriage equality, but that was never the end. Marriage equality was a baton in a relay race. We stand in solidarity with our Muslim LGBTQ Ohioans and allies to look for a future where people can be themselves without fear.

Equality Ohio extends the deepest of sympathy to the victims and surviving friends and family in Orlando’s LGBTQ community. You are all in our thoughts and prayers.”

Equality Ohio is asking people in mourning to wear white ribbons at school and at work in solidarity with everybody affected by this incident.

Equitas Health (Formerly the AIDS Resource Center):

In light of today’s tragic shooting in Orlando, Equitas Health therapists will be available at their Columbus and Dayton Medical Centers for private sessions throughout the week to help anyone seeking to process through this difficult time. Please call (614) 340-6777 for Columbus & (937) 853-3650 for Dayton.

A support group open to the community is planned for the evening of Wednesday, June 15th from 6:30pm to 7:30pm at their Short North location.

Equitas Health’s mission is to be the gateway to good health for those affected by HIV/AIDS, the LGBTQ community and others seeking a welcoming healthcare home.

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther:

“I have reached out to Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer to offer condolences for the people injured and killed in this morning’s shooting. We must not allow senseless acts of violence to strike fear in our hearts, and we must stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in the LGBTQ community in particular. I encourage residents of Columbus to offer their support by donating blood (call 1-888-9-DONATE) and by praying for the victims, their families and the first responders to this tragedy.”

Franklin County Commissioners:

In the coming days, more and more details will emerge about exactly how and why a man shot more than a hundred people last night at a nightclub in Orlando. In the meantime, we know that it was an act of hatred and an act of terror, made possible in part by easy access to military-style weapons. Whether we think of this massacre as a hate crime against the GLBT community, as a political act of terrorism, or as the inevitable result of gun policy written by gun manufacturers, the results are predictable and terrible.

Mass shootings have become a way of life in America, but we will never become inured to them. We stand with the victims and their families. We stand with America in its global and domestic struggles against terrorism; and we stand in favor of common sense gun laws to help keep weapons of war out of the hands of those who would use them against their own romantic partners, against school children or theater goers, against their own elected leaders, or against people who are simply different from themselves. None of these are easy problems to solve, but we stand ready in Franklin County to continue the fight against terror, against bigotry, and against violence in all its forms even we mourn for the shattered lives in Orlando.

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