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PA James Hosts Unity Vigil for Victims of Orlando Massacre, Calls for Stricter Gun Control Laws

Photo: Nathaniel Adams


Vigil brought elected officials, LGBT, Muslim and Hispanic communities together to honor Orlando  


NEW YORK — In the aftermath of the Orlando massacre, Public Advocate Letitia James hosted a vigil remembering those killed during the mass shooting and calling for unity during this time of national mourning. Hundreds of elected officials, community leaders, LGBT, Muslim, Hispanic and anti-gun violence groups came together to denounce this act of hate and terror and to call for tolerance and stricter gun laws..


“Our hearts are heavy with mourning for all those who lost their lives, and the entire LGBT community, but we take our anger, our sadness, and our

Public Advocate Letitia James
Public Advocate Letitia James

fear, and we turn into action,” said Public Advocate Letitia James. “We are a country made stronger by our individuality and by our communities that celebrate our pride, our heritage, and religion. This horrific attack will not tear us apart, but will unite us together to combat hate with love, to fight intolerance with compassion, and to take on gun violence with action.”


“On behalf of the constituents of the Ninth Congressional District, I stand with Orlando as we as a nation deal with yet another mass shooting which unfortunately, has become unacceptably commonplace in our country,” said Congresswoman Yvette Clarke. “Many of the families in our community know from first-hand experience of the problems of gun violence and crime. As a member of the Gun Violence Task Force and your representative in Congress, I will continue to tell your story and be your voice in Washington, D.C. I will not stop until we pass common sense gun laws and develop common sense policies that address the adverse impact that exposure to gun violence has on victims and on the community’s mental health.”


“New York City joins the entire country in grieving the unbearable loss of life in Orlando,” said Comptroller Scott Stringer. “This attack was an assault on the values that unite us, on our right to live and love freely. We cannot allow ourselves to become numb to this recurring pain. We must acknowledge that the more guns that remain on our streets, the greater the chance that violence will continue to tear apart our communities. We need action now from Congress – and every level of government – ​to protect our children and our future. Today and every day, we stand with Orlando and our nation’s LGBTQ community.”


Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams

“The massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando struck at the heart of One Brooklyn, a community in which the contributions of our LGBTQ brothers and sisters are integral. With the families of the victims, our souls cried out in mourning when we learned that two people from Brooklyn, Brenda Lee Marquez McCool and Enrique L. Rios, Jr., had been killed in the most deadly gun massacre in American history,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. “Now, we must gather our strength, standing shoulder to shoulder with every strand of our rich diversity. We denounce hate and violence in all of its vicious forms, and we open our hearts with compassion and in good faith to share our prayers and messages of hope with all those grieving from Orlando and all over this world we share. With our words recorded on banners of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple fabric, we will wrap words of strength and solidarity around Brooklyn Borough Hall to raise up every member of our global family.”


“Today, I join the rest of the nation in sending my condolences to the individuals still in recovery, and to the families, friends, and loved ones of the victims of the Orlando shooting,” said State Senator Kevin Parker. “Any form of discrimination is a threat to the democracy and freedoms we enjoy, and I stand ready to work with my colleagues across the nation to make sure an act of violence like this never happens again.”


“As the Council Member for the 35th District, whose constituency celebrates diversity, we stand with Orlando during a month dedicated to gun violence awareness and celebrating the advancements of the LGBTQ community,” said Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo. “Once again, we are faced with another gun-related tragedy and the reality that hatred was the motive behind the devastating attack that took place on Sunday at an Orlando nightclub. Today, we extend our prayers for comfort, strength, and courage to the families of the lives lost and healing to the victims of this massacre.”



“The Muslim Community Network is extremely saddened by the recent tragedy in Orlando,” said Dr. Debbie Almontaser, President, Muslim Community Network. “Today we stand in solidarity with all the families of the victims of the Orlando Massacre and LGBT communities in Florida and around the country. Our thoughts and prayers go out to each person that has been impacted by this senseless massacre. We condemn this horrific act of mass murder and the misuse of any ideology or faith that perpetuates violence and hate.”


“We are saddened and horrified at the cruel, inhumane, savage, and terror attack on the LGBT community in Orlando, Florida by a gunman,” said Milan Rahman, South Asian American Voice. “We stand with the LGBT community and offer our condolences and prayers for the victims and families of this depraved violence. Let us honor Muhammad Ali and his legacy of tolerance, peace, respect, love, and unity, and stand together to support our brothers and sisters who seek out humanity in each of us.”

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