Solidarity with Orlando

First published on ProgressOnline

The LGBT community and its allies in Orlando, Florida were the victims of an appalling hate crime and terrorist attack in the early hours of Sunday morning. We stand with them and their partners, friends and families at this difficult time and know, in the end, that Love Wins. We wish the 50 plus injured victims a speedy recovery and mourn the 50 who have perished.

LGBT equality is hard fought and never won in perpetuity. While we express support for the victims we should remember two other things. First, those who have fought for the insufficient and fragile equality that we currently have. And second, the LGBT community in all its diversity, especially LGBT Muslims. Many will fear being rejected from both communities but should be welcome in gay bars and Mosques more than ever. Faith and friends are vital for many in times of grief and horror.

Vigils will take place around the country. LGBT Labour is leading our party’s response and their website has some details of solidarity events taking place around the country. We encourage you to attend.

We are pleased that the Speaker granted former Progress vice-chair Stephen Doughty’s urgent question on the Orlando attacks. Wes Streeting’s contribution in the house stands out for saying ‘In my constituency Muslims don’t murder gay people, they elect them.’

The fight for equality continues.

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Richard Angell is director of Progress. He tweets @RichardAngell

You can read Richard’s piece about the Orlando shootings here

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