Statement on Orlando, June 12th 2016
BiNet USA mourns the tremendous loss of life at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, FL as the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual (LGBTQIA) community celebrated Pride, a yearly celebration originally co-organized by bisexual activist Brenda Howard in New York City over 4 decades ago.
Pride is a time we celebrate the diversity in our entire community and our collective gains for equality, but this week we worry, pray and hope for the safety of our entire LGBTQIA community.
We urge the media, the LGBTQIA community and our allies to avoid characterizing this tragedy as a religiously motivated terrorist attack until all details are in. Let us avoid focusing on the shooter's ethnicity or religion and instead center our conversations around what work we can do to end the hatred that brings about such violent acts.
As Martin Luther King once said,
"The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. So it goes. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."
We pray for love and light to guide our entire community in the days ahead.
Please consider donating to the Equality Florida GoFundMe setup for the victims and survivors in Orlando: https://www.gofundme.com/PulseVictimsFund
With a heavy heart,
The BiNet USA Board