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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 12, 2016

Contact:
Jackie Yodashkin, Communications Director
jyodashkin@immigrationequality.org / 917-620-4502

Immigration Equality Statement on Mass Shooting at Gay Club in Orlando

New York, NY — Today, Immigration Equality, the country’s leading LGBTQ immigrant rights organization, issued the following statement from its Executive Director Aaron C. Morris in response to this morning’s mass shooting at a gay club in Orlando, Florida:

“Everyday at Immigration Equality, we see the marvelous breadth of our LGBTQ community. We are queer, we are immigrants, we are Muslim, and we are Latin@. We are every ethnicity and every religion.

“For many LGBTQ people, the gay bar is our sanctuary and our safe space. It is the spot where we meet, where we make community, and where we feel free to be our true selves. Today, lethal violence shocked that sense of security, bringing fear and grief in its wake.

“Make no mistake, this man’s actions are those of a terrorist. They are unusual, deplorable, and inspired by hate. Even as we grieve for those whose lives were taken, let us also refuse to allow this horrific event to be used against the communities who need us the most.

“To overcome the violence targeting our people, we must continue to come together as a community. We will embrace our diversity and find strength and comfort in it. We are queer people from around the world. Together, we will mourn with those who lost loved ones today and work to ensure that in the future all of us are supported and protected.”

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Immigration Equality is the nation’s leading LGBTQ immigrant rights organization. We represent and advocate for people from around the world fleeing violence, abuse, and persecution because of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or HIV status. Our legal team has won asylum for hundreds of LGBTQ and HIV-positive immigrants while maintaining a 99% success rate.