During a roundtable with community leaders in Orlando on Friday, Hillary Clinton condemned the terrorist attack against the LGBT community that killed 49 Americans and injured dozens more at The Pulse nightclub in June. Clinton also took the time to visit the club and the outdoor memorial and met with family and friends of the victims.
Her full remarks after the jump…
Well Mayor, thank you for that because that’s exactly why I am came here. To listen and learn from this community that has shown such grace and commitment to those who were lost, to their families and to all who were affected by this terrible event. I want to start by thanking you for your leadership. You were a steady and very compassionate voice throughout this terrible ordeal. I thank everyone who is here representing various aspects of the Orlando community.
I am pleased that my longtime friend and former colleague Senator Nelson is here as well. I want to just say a few words because I really am here to listen to what your experiences have been and what we do need to do together. We need to acknowledge and be very clear who this attack targeted: the Latino LGBT community, by any measure was the community that was most severely impacted by this terrible attack. What does that mean? Well, among other things, it means that it is still dangerous to be LGBT in America. I think it’s an unfortunate fact, but one that needs to be said, that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people are more likely than any other group in our country to be the targets of hate crimes. They face a very complicated, intersecting sets of challenges in general, and specifically even more so as people of color.
So after meeting with several representatives of the families, including a mother who lost her beloved son, I want to underscore what I have heard from so many across our country, but particularly from here in Orlando. We have to stand against hate and bigotry. I was really moved by everyone who stood in solidarity with the victims and families here in Orlando, with the LGBT community, the Latino community, the Muslim community, with law enforcement and others, who have been truly tested and tried in the face of such horror and evil. People from all walks of life came together to help and support one another.
There are several things I think we do have to do at the national level to support communities like this one. We do have to take on the epidemic of gun violence, particularly assault weapons, the havoc and horror that they bring in their wake is just no longer tolerable. And we have to be willing to stand as one and demand changes from lawmakers at the federal, state, and local level.
Second, we have to disrupt and dismantle the global online network that radicalizes people here in the United States, that even unfortunately, infects the thinking and attitudes of people in our communities, in their homes. They are communicated with, they are inspired, and they are even directed, and we’ve got to do a better job to stop that.
So we have a lot of work ahead of us – and I am very much looking forward to hearing from the panelists who are with us who represent a fraction of the community that has responded so lovingly. And I will do everything I can, both in this campaign, but after it, to stand with you and to support you and to try to promote the kinds of changes that will prevent this from happening to other people, other families and other communities in the future.”