This weekend people from around the world joined the LGBT community in their now famous gay pride parades. The event was born decades ago when any homosexual behavior was deemed illegal. Year after year, societies from around the world have become more used to the idea, and now homosexuality is much more accepted than back in the day. As a matter of fact, not only gay people attend the annual parade. Along the years, a lot of straight people had joined the celebrations to support tolerance movements, especially last year when same-sex marriage was made legal in some states in the United States.
In spite of all the advances, this year the celebrations are grayed by the horrific events that took place at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando. A now infamous Omar Mateen entered the building armed with an automatic assault rifle and a handgun. It was a Latino Night at the place that was crowded, and the deranged man opened new fire point on the people there leaving 49 fatal victims and hundreds of injured. So far, the authorities claim that Mateen was a terrorist aligned with ISIS, and the event was a terrorist attack. In contrast, many news media have reported the man was unstable and probably gay himself. Whatever the reason was, the event had a huge impact in the world community.
Most people condemned the attacks, and a lot of celebrities including the president of the United States, Barack Obama, addressed the gun control problem in the country. However, a horrific trend started to raise in social media. Apparently, the attack carried out by Omar Mateen woke up a wave of gay hate among people from around the world. That is something expected from some Middle East countries where it is still illegal to be gay, but the fact that citizens from all the continents of the world raised their voices to support what happened in Orlando, highlights the hate is still there, and it is very dangerous.
Special security measures around the parades
The LGBT community is known as a brave one, and despite all the threats the parade organizers have received around the country, the event was not canceled. Accordingly, the police departments from all the United States worked closely with the organizing staff to provide as much security as possible. In fact, the routes and the concentration places of the event in Houston, Texas, have been declared free of gun zones. Even concealed weapons are forbidden in the designated areas on Sunday regardless the carry license a person might have. In a state known for defending their rights to have guns, it is surprising that the authorities complied with the gay community demands. Some people say that the primary cause for that were the threats. Earlier this week, anonymous threats were sent via Twitter saying things like “there is going to be a mass shooting at the gay pride parade on Sunday.” The police department of Houston opened an investigation on the matter, but so far has found nothing.
In New York, the colored and cheerful parade had a lot of unexpected members as police officers from local departments joined the walk, but they were not there to celebrate. After the events at Orlando, the authorities expected more people than ever to attend the ceremony which consequently increased the risks of another terrorist or hate attack. Hundreds of operatives were deployed covering the routes and concentration places of the celebration.
They are not the exception. After the shooting in Orlando, it is expected that authorities around the world take special measures in all of the cities where the parade is celebrated.
Everybody is honoring the fallen
More than a celebration, this year’s walk will most likely focus on mourning the ones who lost their life at the hands of people driven by intolerance and hate. For instance, the Governor of New York State, Democrat Andrew Cuomo, announced that the Stonewall Inn was going to be named and preserved as a historic site for all New Yorkers to enjoy. The building was the scenario for the events called “the Stonewall Inn riots” that ended up giving birth to the gay pride parade. Also, Cuomo said that the government was going to erect a monument in honor of the fallen.
Moreover, millions of people around the world will gather in their communities to pray not only for the victims of Orlando, but also, for all the people that die in hate crimes, and there is still a lot of that. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), around 6,000 hate crimes were registered in the United States. The federal agency released a report dividing these events based on the motive. Sexual orientation was the cause of 20% of hate crimes only surpassed by racial crimes with 48.5% of the recorded incidents.
In fact, there are dozens of registered anti-gay groups that have been known to take violent actions against different groups of people. What is more, a lot of these groups also follow nationalist ideas such as American Vision, Americans for Truth About Homosexuality and many others.
Source: New York Daily News