Former Republican presidential hopeful Marco Rubio has responded to the Orlando shooting in his home state of Florida by formally stating that gay people were clearly the intended victims of the attack.
please pray for all the people and families affected by this horrific tragedy in Orlando???? pic.twitter.com/1uhNqOiyLV
— Bae Feelings ღ (@GirlfriendNotes) June 13, 2016
Speaking with long-time gay magazine The Advocate, Marco said that the LGBT community was undoubtedly meant to be in the crosshairs. Rubio specifically mentioned other acts of terror that ISIS had carried out against queer people.
“I don’t need investigators to tell me the gay community was targeted in this attack. Watch the videos. We know what ISIS has done to people they accuse of being homosexual. They throw them off of buildings. They execute them.”
Marco is here referring to the execution technique commonly used by ISIS against suspected gay men in the regions where their presence is most felt. As Rubio mentioned, several videos have been released in the past year that show the group throwing victims from the rooftops of buildings and then subsequently stoning them to assure they have died.
Taking these shocking images into consideration, Marco condemned the man responsible for the attack, Omar Mateen, and the organization he had affiliated himself with. Rubio said that Americans were dealing with something truly sinister.
“It’s pretty clear that in addition to wanting to kill innocent Americans, there was an additional inspiration behind this. We are dealing with some evil, nasty human beings who are motivated by an ideology of hatred that needs to be defeated.”
— ABC News (@ABC) June 13, 2016
In an interview with CNN‘s Wolf Blitzer, Marco Rubio also shared other ways that United States citizens could help out those who found themselves in critical conditional after the Orlando shooting — including blood donation.
“You can just imagine the demand on the blood bank. So I would encourage those that are eligible and can give blood to please try to do that. That’s one thing we can do.”
Not everyone was impressed with Marco’s show of support. Many found the statement completely at odds with the policies that Rubio has pursued in his own state of Florida, as well as the platform he had recently run for president on. A firm opponent of same-sex marriage, some were unreceptive of the suddenly extended hand to the LGBT community.
— gabe yonts (@GabeYonts) June 12, 2016
— Greg Davis (@sfgregdavis) June 12, 2016
— Kathy Agel (@KathyA11) June 12, 2016
— YungElvis (@Elvis2Yung) June 12, 2016
Marco is just one of several political figures to come forward with a firm rejection of the violence in Orlando and confirm that the attack was of a homophobic nature. Just before Rubio, President Barack Obama also addressed the nature of the attack.
“This is an especially heartbreaking day for our friends and fellow Americans who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. The shooter targeted a nightclub where people came together to be with friends, to dance, sing and live. The place where they were attacked was more than a nightclub. It’s a place of solidarity and empowerment where people have come together to raise awareness and speak their minds and advocate for their civil rights.”
What are your thoughts on Marco Rubio’s statement on the Pulse Orlando shooting?
[Image via Joe Raedle/Getty Images]