Five years after a mass shooting left 49 people dead and 53 more wounded at Florida’s Pulse nightclub, Joe Biden has announced new plans to honor the victims.
Yesterday (June 12) marked the fifth anniversary of the shooting, and in a statement he issued in recognition of the day, Biden announced that the Orlando nightclub, which is one that was frequented by members of the LGBTQ+ community, would be named a national memorial.
“In the coming days, I will sign a bill designating Pulse Nightclub as a national memorial, enshrining in law what has been true since that terrible day five years ago: Pulse nightclub is hallowed ground,” reads one part of Biden’s statement.
Biden goes on to speak about the need for more gun control and the way gun violence can affect the LGBTQ+ community.
“We must also acknowledge gun violence’s particular impact on LGBTQ+ communities across our nation,” he says. “We must drive out hate and inequities that contribute to the epidemic of violence and murder against transgender women – especially transgender women of color. We must create a world in which our LGBTQ+ young people are loved, accepted, and feel safe in living their truth. And the Senate must swiftly pass the Equality Act, legislation that will ensure LGBTQ+ Americans finally have equal protection under law.”
This news arrives nearly two weeks after Biden issued a statement on the 100th anniversary of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre that left 300 residents dead and many more displaced after White mobs attacked a predominantly Black community. In the statement, Biden called on U.S. citizens to reflect on both racism and racial terror.