Washington, D.C. (June 13, 2016) — The African American Mayors Association (AAMA) joins the nation in mourning yesterday’s tragic mass shooting at the Orlando, Florida Pulse nightclub which claimed at least fifty lives.
The tragedy took place during LGBT Pride Month, which commemorates the successes and struggles of LGBT Americans. America’s mayors have been at the forefront of advancing LGBT rights, enacting LGBT nondiscrimination ordinances and human rights laws decades before legal protections were established at the state or federal level. Even today, as multiple states seek to turn back the clock on recent US Supreme Court decisions advancing LGBT equality, mayors continue to lead the fight to uphold the dignity of all residents.
According to press reports, the shooter in yesterday’s tragedy was able to acquire a military-grade firearm despite numerous red flags in his background. While solutions for confronting gun violence will vary, AAMA mayors are united in their resolve for action to eliminate senseless gun violence deaths.
Our mayors are actively responding to the Orlando tragedy in their communities. AAMA President Sly James (Kansas City, MO) has declared today a “Rainbow Day” in his city, urging Kansas City residents to wear rainbows and illuminating many local landmarks in rainbow colors in solidarity with the victims. In a local press interview, he further noted: “I don’t care how you look at it, slice it or dice it, weapons [are] in the hands of idiots, haters, bigots and fools. People will die. We have to stop it.”