More than 1,000 people, including half the Dallas City Council and a number of other elected officials, gathered at the new LGBT Community Center this evening (June 12) to mourn the 50 people killed in a gay nightclub in Orlando earlier today. The mass shooting was the largest massacre in U.S. history.
Clergy from different faiths, including Christianity, Judaism and Islam as well as representatives of the Buddhist and Hindu communities, said that there is no place for religious intolerance in our country.
Mayor Mike Rawlings said, “Everyday, I wake up hoping I don’t get a call like this,” referring to the call the mayor of Orlando received after the massacre began. “We are here for you,” he reassured the LGBT community. He said flags at Dallas City Hall flew at half staff today.
Police Chief David Brown said, “We are with you as partners and friends.” The polie presence in Oak Lawn, especially around bars and other LGBT businesses and community facilities, has been increased. Rawlings said he’s gotten donations to pay for the overtime to cover the extra security.
County Judge Clay Jenkins thanked organizers of the event and said, “The city of Dallas and Dallas County stand on the side of love,” referring to Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who tweeted a comment earlier today blaming the victims and siding with terrorism.
An imam from the Valley Ranch Islamic Center said that when his community was targeted, the LGBT community stood against Islamophobia. He was there this evening, he said, to support the LGBT community.
Resource Center CEO Cece Cox said this wasn’t what she expected to be doing on the tenth day after occupying the organization’s new headquarters. She called it “a safe place for our community” and called our Patrick on his bigotry.
After more than a dozen speakers, the crowd marched in silence from the community center to the Legacy of Love monument where many left flowers.
More pictures tomorrow.