Co-founder Sandi Toksvig condemns senseless violence in Orlando nightclub attack
Sandi Toksvig, co-founder of the Women’s Equality Party, has spoken of her disbelief and sadness over the mass shooting at an LGBT+ nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
"I wouldn't ordinarily presume but I'm sure I speak for the entire British LGBT+ community when I say how heartbroken I am about the horror of what has happened in Orlando," said Toksvig. "We hold these truths to be self evident that all of us, whoever we are, have the right to meet our friends and relax in safety. Equality is not a privilege you should have to fight for. It is a fundamental human right. This hateful act sends a tremor of fear through us all but we will not be cowed. We stand with our American brothers and sisters as we weep for their loss."
A gunman carrying a handgun and assault weapon opened fire at LGBT+ nightclub, Pulse, in the early hours of Sunday morning in Orlando, Fla., killing at least 50 people and wounding many more in one of the deadliest attacks in American history.
"Today's tragedy has taken so many victims' lives and devastated so many others", said Sophie Walker, leader of the Women's Equality Party. "Our thoughts are with all those affected by the shootings including the LGBT+ community, which has already experienced too much loss and sadness."
She added: "Today’s tragedy shows just how far we have to go in building a more equal, diverse and inclusive society. Equality is where our heart beats and the shocking events at Pulse nightclub today remind us how important a goal that is."
The attacks come almost exactly one year after the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage was protected by the US Constitution. LGBT+ people have long suffered from discrimination and violent hate crimes, including the 2013 attempt by Musab Masmari to burn down a gay club in Seattle.
Published June 13, 2016