We are all Members of the LGBTQ Community

Vigil for Orlando Victims
Thursday, June 16, 2016
Steps of Newton City Hall, 7:45 p.m.

Sadly, within hours of enjoying the PRIDE festival in Boston, JALSA learned of the tragedy in Orlando.

The LGBTQ community members and friends were celebrating the accomplishments in Massachusetts that allow people full dignity and equality, including protection of civil rights, equal marriage, and – in the weeks ahead – full access to public accommodations.  JALSA members have worked to earn all these public policies so that all members of our community can live with full rights and protections from discrimination.

The happiness expressed at the PRIDE parade and the celebrations were choked by the act of terror at an LGBTQ nightclub.  JALSA joins the members of the LGBTQ community in outrage at this carnage.  Today is the Jewish holiday of Shavuot where we read of the welcoming of Ruth – a non-Jew – to the community of Jews.  We – straight and LGBTQ members of JALSA – are today all members of the LGBTQ community as we stand with you to mourn the victims and the impact of this event on all our lives.

We will learn in the days ahead of the motivation of the shooter.  But, whatever his motivation, we cannot have a society where people use not only words, but an assault rifle, to make a political point.  Once again, we see carnage as a result of the use of military style assault weapons with high capacity ammunition magazines.

ACTION NEEDED

When will this country recognize the need for background checks and waiting periods for all gun sales?   How many deaths will we endure before civilians are prohibited from buying automatic weapons or devices to convert weapons to assault weapon capacity?   It is time for each of us to write and call our local, state, and federal authorities and demand action.  It is common sense to prohibit the purchase of automatic and semi-automatic weapons by civilians.  There is no acceptable reason to allow the purchase of high-capacity magazines.