Things That Matter

US Senate Unanimously Votes To Make Pulse Nightclub A National Memorial

On June 12, 2016, a man opened fire killing 49 people at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando. The violence shocked the nation and terrified the Latinx LGBTQ+ community. Five years later, the site of the massacre is becoming a national memorial.

Five years after the tragic shooting, the U.S. Senate voted unanimously to make the Pulse Nightclub a national memorial.

June 12 marks the fifth anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub shooting. Forty-nine people were murdered when a gunman opened fired in the crowded nightclub. The mass shooting during Pride Month sent grief waves through the LGBTQ+ community and a reminder to the rest of the country that hate was a deadly thing.

The bill, S. 1605, passed in the Senate with a voice vote with no dissent. The House of Representatives passed a similar measure, H.R. 49, on May 12. Both bills designate the place where Pulse Nightclub stood a national memorial and museum to honor the victims of one of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history.

The Senate vote comes a week after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gutted funding for mental health services for victims and their families.

Gov. DeSantis recently signed a new state budget that eliminated funding to the Orlando LGBT Community Center and an organization the helps homeless LGBTQ+ youth. The sudden loss of funds for victims and their families, promised by Gov. DeSantis in 2019, has angered many in the LGBTQ+ community and their allies.

“Before the 2019 Remembrance Ceremony, Governor DeSantis stood on hallowed ground, steps from where I escaped the building in 2016, and promised me that he would always support those of us impacted by the Pulse nightclub shooting,” Brandon Wolf, a Pulse survivor and media relations manager for Equality Florida, said in a statement. “Today, almost two years later to date, he vetoed mental health services for us. I will never forget.”

The vote to create the national memorial is welcomed news to the LGBTQ+ community.

The upcoming anniversary of the tragedy is a heavy reminder of the dangers that still exist for the LGBTQ+ community. The designation of the Pulse Nightclub is a step in the right direction to acknowledge and heal the community. It is also a welcomed moment for the LGBTQ+ community that is under attack by conservative state legislatures trying to pass anti-trans bills targeting trans children.

READ: Four Years Later And The Grief Of The Pulse Nightclub Shooting Is Still Raw

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