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LGBT Residents Honor Orlando Victims

June 13, 2016, 7:43 AM HST
* Updated June 13, 11:36 AM
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OrlandoVigil

East Hawai‘i’s LGBT community held a vigil for the victims of the Orlando shootings. Courtesy photo.

Members and supporters of East Hawai‘i’s LGBT community gathered in downtown Hilo on Sunday evening, June 12, for a candlelight vigil at Mo‘oheau Bandstand & Park to honor the victims of the shootings at Orlando Florida’s Pulse, a gay bar.

News sources reported that 49 people were killed and 53 were wounded in the attack in the early hours of Sunday, June 12, which is being called “the worst mass shooting in US history.”

“Though the motives for the attack are unknown, violence against LGBT people is not a rare occurrence,” said Travis Rogers, organizer of the Hilo vigil.

Rogers said he “heard the news and just had to do something.”

Rogers shared a personal story of homophobic violence so others may feel safe to do the same.

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“Though Hawai‘i’s LGBT residents come from diverse backgrounds and experiences, most have these kind of stories,” Rogers said.

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Above all, Rogers shared his hope for people standing up against hatred and making communities safe for everyone.

“I feel for those who’ve lost their lives,” Rogers said. “This homophobic violence must end.”

Individuals or organizations who want to help make Hawai‘i Island a safe and friendly place for LGBT residents are welcome to support Hawai‘i Island Pride.

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The Fourth Annual Hawai‘i Island Pride parade is being planned for July 9, 2016, from noon to 4 p.m. in downtown Hilo.

Parade bolunteers are needed. Planning meetings are held on Tuesday at 6 p.m., at the Church of the Holy Apostles, 1407 Kapiolani St. All are welcome.

Call Laura Acevedo at (808) 443-4169.

 For more information, go online.

 

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