After Orlando, the Struggle Against Hate Continues

On Sunday, around the same time that LGBTI rights activists marched peacefully down the streets of Kyiv for their annual pride celebration and half a world away, a lone gunman entered a popular LGBTI nightclub in Orlando, Florida. After reportedly pledging allegiance to the Islamic State, he opened fire, killing at least 49 people and injuring dozens more before being killed by police.

The Kyiv Pride march was the first in that city to be held successfully. Last year’s event had barely started when it was abruptly called off after parade goers were attacked by members of a far-right organization. This year, police preemptively sealed off a 10-block area in the city in response to threats of a “bloody mess.”

Taken together, the events in Kyiv and Orlando demonstrate the horrific hatred and violence LGBTI people continue to face in much of the world today. In many countries, they are criminalized, imprisoned, tortured, and even executed. Even in countries where rights protections exist, LGBTI people are still shunned by family and friends, denied housing and employment, and attacked, both emotionally and physically.

For LGBTI people in the United States, June is a historic month. It marks the anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Riots and is the month in which many pride festivals take place in cities across the country. Last June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality provided even more cause for celebration. But as these victories show, even when we succeed in fighting for our rights, we must remain vigilant.

Terrorist attacks and mass shooting are all too common. They come in mind-numbing succession, blurring into each other in the 24/7 news cycle. At a Tel Aviv café last week. The Brussels airport. A social services center in San Bernardino, California. Paris, Beirut—the list goes on. The differences in the victims are less important than what unites them; we are all bound to one another by our humanity. When that humanity is struck down in one place, we are all made more vulnerable.

At times like these, it is even more important to ensure that horrific acts of violence perpetrated by individuals should not be used to fuel Islamophobia. While it is shocking and sad that someone would try to justify this type of hatred with religion, a single act should never be seen to represent an entire faith.

On Sunday night, I attended a vigil for the Orlando victims in front of the White House, where members of the D.C. Gay Men’s Chorus sang “We Shall Overcome” in an impromptu act of solidarity. Speakers expressed their deep sadness at what had happened, emphasizing the need to continue to work to eliminate violence in this country—against LGBTI people, Muslims, and any other marginalized group or minority.

At the Open Society Foundations, it is our mission to create safe spaces around the world where people can come together in spite of their differences, where they can disagree without fear of persecution and advocate for a better world without risking their lives. It is our job to ensure we are not numbed by tragedies like the one that unfolded in Orlando, that instead we rededicate ourselves to the global work of building open societies, even against seemingly insurmountable odds.

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If we only a would realize the strength we would have, by coming together as one

Open Society Foundation ( OSF ) is more important for Mankind around the world in todays times . Its High Time Humans Dedicate themselves to this Global work of being Free to express themselves , instead of being Snubbed & Rubbed by those in Command and Power ; lest slavery will be the order of the day in not too distant times ! take care .

I have a rage that is welled up, pinned up inside me. People say 'use your words" to express yourself. But people do not listen or even begin to understand the depth of the pain, when my Mexican (Latino(a), Lesbian, Gay and Transgendered sisters and brothers are gun down. My community has been attacked.
I came out in the bars, the only place I felt truly safe to be myself. Although I have not gone to the bars for a very long time, memories have come flooding back into soul when I heard of the shooting in Orlando.
All society can say is we are praying for you. But your empty prayers will never stop the violence of innocent people being gunned down. One more shooting, senseless loss of life. Sandy Hook was not enough. Is this tragedy in Orlando enough. I doubt it-24 hour waiting game, for people to forget the pain and suffer that has been inflicted upon a loving community or innocent children. What is going to be enough for our civil society to say "enough is enough". What will it take. I pray for this country to change and put an end to the obstruction from the gun lovers and politician who are more interested in their own POWER. When will it be safe for my grandchildren to attend school and know that at the end of the day, they will come home to their mothers and fathers. When will we stand up to tyranny of the oppressive do nothing congress? I am only one vote, one lesbian, one mexican american, one mother, grandmother-who has devoted her life to have a society where all people are safe and free.
Thank you for the opportunity to express my profound grief. I can not even imagine the horror that all victims of gun violence encounter. But I can no longer voice my displeasure as my country continues to allow these acts to continue.
In closing, it may be of comfort to know you are safe because our government is stopping little old ladies in airport security lines, confiscating their shampoo bottles and wrinkle-free creams. Peace and love to all and I am sorry for your pain.

The society is built on single bricks called individuals. The individuals are all of name/form. What is name? It is feeling, perception, thinking, touch and contemplation. What is form ? it is form perception. Our body work is governed by this name/form. So unless we clense the name form of all defilements like, greed, hate, delusion, envy, anger, obstination, rigidity, diffused mind etc. the society will always be like this. Before the mass electronic media and social media influenced this world, it was a far better place. Now these two take even the smallest thing in even an obscure place to the whole world and thus ignite all. There appears to be no solution till humans realize this.

it is very bad we dis like this type killing being a humanitarian Activist i dislike extremest

I want to raise my voice against violence

It is so tragic news, may the Lord Almighty God rest their souls into etneral solace...

Let`s rise up for humanity and to fight against terrorism!

Nasser from Kenya and am an disaster emergency rescuer
and I do really understand what Orlando Community going through are from the 1998 United State Embassy Nairobi Bomb Blast which 250 were killed, Westgate siege 67 people were killed, Garissa University shooting where more than 70 student were killed and so these people who kill is not a matter of religion but satanism and the world need more prayers and humanity must come as one even animals in the jungle are much better human beings.Let the Orlando Community know that they are not alone their are others Victims like them and they should not give the terrorist a chance of defeat but the power of one love and one world.Feel free to give the victim my email contact and let them talk to me and the victims those I rescued during all these Disasters.God Bless all the victims and all their relatives and all Americans. Thank you.

One beautifully peacefully colorful world... standing together, let us struggle for the light...

Love and for all!!! For the clarity of our hearts and minds.

We need to put our heads together and determine the root cause( s) of this violence and these injustices. Its only when we get at the root cause(s) that we shall be able to get the right solutions to these types of acts.

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