Deputy Mayor Hyeok Kim reads Mayor Murray’s Statement on 1st Anniversary of Pulse Nightclub Shooting

As we mark the first anniversary of the 49 lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, and queer people who were targeted for their identity and murdered for simply being at a club—out in their city, dancing on a Saturday night—we are still grieving.

Grieving for the pharmacy tech, the financial aid officer, the spa owner, the caregiver, the marketing company owner, the McDonalds worker, the professional dancer, the journalist, the Target employee, and all the students. So many students. Just starting out in life. Aspiring to be nurses, computer techs, TV producers, firefighters.

More important, we are grieving for these daughters, sons, sisters, brothers, and spouses. These people who brought so much joy to their families. Kimberly Morris, a bouncer at Pulse who was murdered that night, had just moved across the country from Hawaii to take care of her aging mother and grandmother.

 

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We are also reflecting.

Reflecting on the unchecked epidemic of gun violence. Just this week there was another mass shooting in Orlando.

Reflecting on homophobia. Just last week the governor of Texas called a special session to pass legislation that violates the civil rights of trans people.

Reflecting on racial intolerance and hatred; most of the victims at Pulse were Latino and African American. And as we are grimly aware: Last week in Portland, a white supremacist murdered two men who tried to stop him from accosting two teenage girls with his racist abuse.

But as we Grieve for the victims at Pulse and Reflect on the intertwined ills of bigotry and violence, we are also celebrating who the victims were: Out, LGBTQ people who were proud members of our courageous community.

The most important way to celebrate is to fight for a country that prioritizes inclusion. And we have been celebrating their legacy all year.

When we marched for women’s rights in January, we were honoring the victims in Orlando by fighting that fight.

When we sued the Trump administration in March to protect the Constitutional rights of Seattle’s immigrant and refugee community, we were honoring the victims in Orlando by fighting that fight.

When we passed landmark police accountability reform in May to make sure African Americans aren’t being treated unfairly by the police, we were honoring the victims in Orlando by fighting that fight.

And as we gather here today, a resilient, loving, LGBTQ community, in a proud show of strength against bigotry, we are fighting that fight.

And in their name, we will continue to fight. Every day.

Thank you.

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