Reaction from shocked Southern California officials to Florida’s deadliest gun attack in U.S. history cited everything from homophobia to terrorism in the “senseless and horrific attack.”

From Hussam Ayloush, executive director, Council on American Islamic Relations:

“We condemn this senseless and horrific attack and offer our heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of all those killed or injured.

“The Muslim community joins our fellow Americans in repudiating anyone or any group that would claim to justify or excuse such an appalling act of violence.”

From the board of directors, Christopher Street West, sponsors of the Pride Festival:

“Forty-six years ago, members of the LGBTQ community came out in cities across the country in response to the Stonewall Riots. Today, we are heartbroken that so many of our brothers, sisters and allies were lost in this tragic attack. As we remember them today at our moment of silence, we must continue to show our pride, not just today but every day.

“Our brave founders made this happen to show the world who we are. We will be loud. We will be proud and we will celebrate in honor of all those lost.

“Today’s parade and festival will continue on as originally scheduled. We will also be holding a rally on our main stage this afternoon.”

From Rep. Adam Schiff, in an interview with top democrat on House Select Committee on Intelligence, on CNN.

“What I have heard form the Department of Homeland Security, and from (Orlando) police, is that he made a pledge of allegiance to ISIL, praying in a foreign language … during the shooting. We know the shooting is during Ramadan and the target is the target that is often the target of ISIS, the LGBT community. The similarities are highly indicativeof an an ISIL-inspired attack, whether this was ISIL-directed we don’t know (yet).”

From Ron Galperin, Los Angeles city comptroller and the first openly-gay official elected to citywide office:

“This shooting appears to have been motivated by homophobia. As such, it is a reminder that homophobia is dangerous and can be deadly. Today I will attend the L.A. Pide Parade in West Hollywood.

“The parade is a chance for the LGBT community to come together in the name of love — love for one another and for ourselves. Today we extend that love to our brothers and sisters in Orlando and march in solidarity with them.”

From the Los Angeles county sheriff’s office:

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families of this horrific attack which occurred in Orlando early this morning.

“While there are no specific or credible threats received by law enforcement for the greater Los Angeles area, our personnel maintain a heightened state of situational awareness and remain vigilant in the protection of our communities.

“Sheriff Jim McDonnell is communicating with our local, state and federal partners.

“The Department’s Operation Center is open and actively managing events surrounding the Gay Pride Parade and Festival in the city of West Hollywood. Hundreds of uniformed deputies are on-duty to ensure the safety of all those participating in this event.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we have enhanced our security presence for the event and have tactical units at the ready to prevent and respond to any circumstances.”

From Los Angeles city prosecutor Mike Feuer:

“As we celebrate the amazing progress that has been made for LGBTQ rights … we are devastated by the horrific news from Orlando — many killed, dozens injured, countless lives shattered in one of the deadliest mass shootings in American history.

“Vehement homophobia and transphobia still exist, and while we continue to raise our voices and march to change hearts, minds and laws, we must also do a better job of keeping the 300 million guns in our country away from people who should not have them. Across our country, it’s a matter of life and death.”

From Women Against Gun Violence, a Los Angeles-based group:

“Thoughts and prayers are inadequate Band-Aids for the anguish and heartache this massacre has brought. We pledge ourselves to tolerance and ending the scourge of gun violence that is tearing apart our communities.

“It is hatred and bigotry, combined with an unchecked gun culture, that together are the lethal weapons of mass destruction against our society.”

–City News Service

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.