Orlando Club Vows to Re-open
Pulse nightclub owner Barbara Poma vowed to ‘keep the spirit alive’ of her Orlando club Pulse this week which she said in an interview with NBC that she’d opened 13 years ago to both honour he gay brother who dies from AIDS and to provide a ‘safe place to be who you are’.
Talking to NBC News, she also recalled the moment she learned of the massacre at her Orlando club where 49 people were shot to death last weekend.
‘It was the most surreal phone call I’ve ever received,’ she said. ‘When my manager called me, he just kept yelling into the phone: “We have a shooter. We have a shooter.”
‘Finally it sunk in, and you can’t wrap your head around that.’
The attack provoked the New York Times to come out strongly for gay rights in a highly significant editorial headlined ‘The Orlando Attack and Its Global Echoes’ in which they noted that ‘in at least 74 countries, being gay is a crime. In at least 10 countries, gay sex is a crime punishable by death’,.
“The United Nations now needs to extend all human rights protections to cover sexual orientation and gender identity,” the Times editorial board demanded.
“That, and the elimination of laws that criminalize being gay, would be a far better tribute to the Orlando victims than displays of rainbow colors and ritual condemnations of yet another hate-fueled attack.” (New York Time )
Hook-up app Grindr also addressed the attack’s global implications in a defiant statement in which they declared ‘We are equal, not afraid.’
“Violence occurs against the LGBT community every day in every corner of the world. A significant amount of Grindr users live overseas, some in countries where being gay is still illegal. For those of us that live someplace with greater tolerance, this reality – and the reality of the violence that unfolded over the weekend – is difficult to imagine,” they said.
“The stories we hear from these places haunt us. But for every Orlando or Syria or Indonesia, we keep count and we remember. And we will not stop until every queer identified individual is safe to live as any other,” they vowed.
Tech-house star Dubfire also spoke out bravely, issuing a statement on his Facebook page.
“As an American I’m ashamed that our country has repeatedly roadblocked any sensible gun control legislation. And as a Muslim by birth, I’m ashamed and sickened that someone would carry out yet another cowardly act of atrocious violence in the name of religious extremist views,” said Dubfire.
“Regardless of the political or social circumstances that allowed it to happen, this is a Muslim problem and Muslims worldwide must band together, condemn these religious fundamentalist views and root this evil out.”
“We’re living in dark times,” he added (Facebook )