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Gay Men's Health Crisis Condemns Terrorist Attack in Orlando

6.12.2016

 

GMHC

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

June 13, 2016
Contact: Anthony Hayes | 917-601-0410 | AnthonyH@gmhc.org
 

STATEMENT
 

New York, New York: Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC), the world's first AIDS service organization, released the following statement on the massacre in Orlando, Florida at Pulse Night Club where at least 50 LGBT people and allies were murdered and over 50 more were injured.

STATEMENT BY GMHC CEO KELSEY LOUIE:

My heart breaks for the victims of the Orlando attack and the entire LGBT community. On Sunday, we all saw firsthand that both domestic and foreign forces still want to attack the freedoms we have fought so hard to acquire. Terror is a word that sadly LGBT people are far too familiar with, because the threat of physical violence, even death, is still a daily part of life for our community, especially transgender Americans. Yet, Sunday's massacre particularly strikes at the heart of LGBT pride because June is the month when we come together from the east to the west coast and celebrate our diversity, our individuality and above all, our community.

While we still don't have all the details, it pains me that this attack in a gay nightclub was the worst mass shooting slaughter in American history. To add insult to this nightmare, when there was a call for blood donations from blood banks in Orlando, many gay men were left out because gay and bisexual men are still banned in America from donating blood. People often ask why GMHC is fighting for policy changes to help the public, and yesterday's events are an example of why we do what we do each day. We cannot allow this mass shooting to pass with no real action from our elected officials. It is time for our leaders to finally do what is right and put common sense gun control regulations in place. It is time to create a blood donation policy that is inclusive and based on science,
not stigma.

At times like this, I am reminded that the LGBT community was built out of unthinkable adversities. The love and pride our community has is an example to all Americans of how we will once again come together and take care of our own. When the world turned its back on us as HIV and AIDS ravaged our community, we defiantly stood up and fought back. When they said you can't marry the one you love, we stood up and won the right to say "I do". The terrorist chose Pulse Night Club for a reason. It is time for us to once again stand up and say you can't scare us back into the closet. We will love proudly, we will dance proudly, and we will march through the streets proudly this month and every month. Our hearts are broken, but our spirits will fight on in honor of those we lost.

 


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About Gay Men's Health Crisis
Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) is the nation's leading provider of HIV and AIDS care, prevention services and advocacy, serving nearly 9,000 people living with and affected by HIV and AIDS in New York City, the epidemic's largest U.S. epicenter. As the world's first HIV and AIDS service organization, GMHC is an expert in providing services that every person affected by the epidemic deserves. GMHC is on the front lines caring for people who are both HIV negative and positive, including: testing, nutrition, legal, mental health and education services. GMHC also advocates for stronger public policies at the local, state and federal level with the goal of ending AIDS as an epidemic in New York State by 2020. Most recently, GMHC and other HIV and AIDS organizations successfully persuaded the federal government to recommend widespread use of PrEP, a new daily treatment that is over 90% effective in preventing HIV infection. For more information, visit www.gmhc.org.