Following the Orlando shooting massacre at Pulse Nightclub this past Sunday, promoters for NYC Pride have promised to step up security for attendees of the city’s LGBT Pride March, which is set to take place on Sunday, June 26. In a note posted to the official Facebook page for the annual LGBT event, current co-chairs Maryanne Roberto Fine and David Studinski expressed their sorrow for the 49 victims who lost their lives following the actions of ISIS sympathizer Omar Mateen, who barged his way into the establishment early Sunday morning and opened fire on club goers.
“As we all continue to process the terrible act of violence that struck the Orlando LGBT community,” the note partially reads, “we wanted to take a moment to let you all know what is happening at NYC Pride to ensure the safety of the millions of people who will attend our events over the next two weeks.”
“Our staff and executive board have been in communication with the NYPD and our private security team, both of which are now putting together plans to adjust our existing security protocols in light of the Orlando attack,” it goes on to say. “We hope to have more updates of what those adjustments will look like in the coming days.”
Since news broke of the mass-murder, many hopeful parade attendees have voiced their concern over whether or not NYC Pride could or should go on after the Orlando shooting, as well as the occurrence of a man allegedly attempting to bring chaos and violence to yesterday’s Los Angeles Pride event in West Hollywood. However, organizers stood firm on the fact that there was never a plan to cancel the march or any of the festivities surrounding it.
“All events will continue to go on as scheduled,” Fine and Studinski said. “The reason for this is simple: we must never let those who wish to silence us win.” The full post, which includes details of a vigil taking place at the landmark Stonewall Inn in New York City, can be read below.
As names and faces of the fallen continue to be released to the public, the outpouring of love and compassion for the victims has been seen all across the globe. Monuments in capital cities, including New York (One World Trade Center), Paris (the Eiffel Tower) and Israel (the Tel Aviv Municipality Building), were draped in the colors of the LGBT Pride flag last evening. Also, lines of Florida natives continue to show up at Orlando blood banks and hospitals in hopes of donating. Unfortunately, a rumor involving a “pause” of the long-standing ban that disallows gay men to donate their blood was proven to be false, and many were turned away.
In related news, chief John Mina of the Orlando Police Department held a press conference Monday morning to update the public on the ongoing investigation surrounding the massacre. According to the law official, an off-duty policeman was working that fateful night at Pulse, and engaged in gun battle with Mateen after he began shooting at club patrons. Through use of an explosive and an armored vehicle, Mina says that his colleagues were able to enter Pulse and rescue dozens who were either uninjured or at the very least, able to evacuate the premise on their own accord.
He went on to state that many media outlets have incorrectly placed the number of casualties of the Orlando shooting at 50 — in truth, 49 innocent people lost their lives that evening. The 50th was the shooter himself, Omar Mateen. As of this post, all 53 survivors are still hospitalized.
[Photo by John Raoux / AP Images]