FFL statement on Pulse Orlando shooting

Lousiana’s

To members of the LGBTQ community here in Louisiana, we continue to stand with you as partners and allies for equality, an end to discrimination and the securing of legislative protections.

Dear friends and colleagues:

Foundation for Louisiana is horrified and saddened by the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando in the early-morning hours of Sunday. We offer our heartfelt thoughts and condolences to the family and friends of those who were killed or injured, and to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community in Orlando and across the country. It is important for us to be in solidarity with the LGBTQ community as we all must mourn this tragedy together.

It is clear that we must recognize the intersectionality of this event as well. The shooting took place on Pulse’s Latin Night and the majority of the victims named to date are people from the Latino community. A report on hate violence in 2012 by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs states that “anti-LGBTQ and HIV-affected hate violence disproportionately impacts LGBTQ and HIV-affected communities of color, transgender people, and transgender people of color.” Violence against other members of the LGBTQ community was also found to be high. We cannot disconnect the issue of racism from the issues of homophobia and transphobia, particularly when it comes to violence.

For years, bars and nightclubs have been a safe gathering place for members of the LGBTQ community. More than just a place to drink and dance, they provide an opportunity to socialize, access safe sex information, learn about LGBTQ resources and to mobilize for action. Most importantly, they are a place for members of a marginalized community to meet others and to know that they’re not alone. We hope that this event does not change that feeling of community and safety.

What spurred this attack may never be known despite the rumors in the media. We ask that this not be used to incite violence against the Muslim community. The actions of one individual or even a small group within a religion are not indicative of all members of that community.

To members of the LGBTQ community here in Louisiana, we continue to stand with you as partners and allies for equality, an end to discrimination and the securing of legislative protections. Violence against the LGBTQ community is violence against all of us and we must join together to respond.

Respectfully,
Flozell Daniels Jr.
President and CEO