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UK: London vigil for Orlando victims 7pm tonight

Monday 13 June 2016, by siawi3

Source: Peter Tatchell Foundtion, June 13, 2016

LGBT venues (and others) must step up security

London, UK - 13 June 2016

Gay and human rights campaigner, Peter Tatchell, will join tonight’s London vigil in commemoration and solidarity with the victims of the Orlando massacre. It commences at 7pm in the heart of the gay village, Old Compton Street, Soho, W1.

Commenting on the mass killings, Mr Tatchell, said:

"There was always a possibility that Islamist extremists would target gay communities in the West, whether as lone attackers or via organised terrorist cells. They have a pathological hatred of LGBT people, and also of Jews, secularists and liberal Muslims.

"This attack is a wake-up call to LGBT organisations and venues in the US, Britain and other Western countries to strengthen their vigilance. There is no room for the complacent and naïve belief that Islamist fanatics will confine their killing of gay people to Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

"In the light of this attack, security needs to be increased at the London LGBT Pride parade on 25 June, and at other events that could be targeted in the UK, such as those involving the Jewish community, secularists and ex-Muslims.

“We condemn those who want to use this slaughter to demonise and scapegoat the Muslim community, the vast majority of whom deplore terrorism as much as everyone else and who have often been its victims, such as in the 9/11 and 7/7 outrages. Our thanks to the many Muslims who have spoken out against the Orlando killings and expressed their solidarity with the LGBT community.

“Some of the most fitting, lasting commemorations of the Pulse nightclub victims would be for the US to ban semi-automatic weapons, repeal legal discrimination against LGBT people and require all schools to educate pupils against all hate, including against homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.

"The condolences expressed by Florida Senator Marco Rubio smack of hypocrisy. He has repeatedly opposed gay equality, including wanting to repeal same-sex marriage and protection against discrimination for LGBT employees. His anti-gay stance has fanned the flames of homophobic hatred.

“The Orlando attack is an extreme example of the violence that happens on a daily basis to LGBT people all over the world. Thousands are killed, maimed and hospitalised every year by violent homophobic assailants, ranging from individuals, gangs and mobs, to organised political and religious zealots. Millions of LGBT people – especially in the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, Russia, Eastern Europe and Asia – live in daily fear of being beaten and even killed.

"Much of the LGBT community was appalled by the line of questioning by the interviewer on the Sky TV paper’s review last night. He seemed to downplay the fact that the Orlando slaughter was a specific, deliberate and targeted attack on gay people. If this had been a massacre of Jewish or Black people I doubt the interview would have been handled in the same insensitive way,” said Mr Tatchell.

See the Sky interview here: