Tides statement on the anti-LGBT terrorist shooting in Orlando on June 12, 2016
We are stunned and saddened by yesterday’s horrific shooting in Orlando. Our deepest sympathies go out to the victims, family members, friends and communities impacted. We share in the confusion, the shock and the loss, as well as the determination and resolve we have seen growing in the last day and a half.
While we do our best to celebrate love and inclusion and fight for equality and human rights, we profoundly recognize that wins like marriage equality in the US do not mean our work is finished. What happened at Pulse nightclub is tremendously impactful, in part, because it illustrates how even our sanctuaries -- where we go to belong and find community, to celebrate love and pride -- are not safe from hate and violence.
Our heartbreak and love extends to our LGBT loved ones and allies, especially the Latinx community that had come together to celebrate Pride on Saturday night at Pulse. We also want to recognize the Muslim communities that have had a long history of working to secure human rights, in particular the LGBT Muslims that are showing up for the Orlando community right now (for more, check out the Muslim Alliance for Sexual and Gender Diversity). We cannot let one man’s self-radicalization fuel a rhetoric of hate or retaliation. Instead, we fight hate with love. When others push away, we strive to be even more inclusive.
Let us be clear: The most effective response to violent acts like this lies not in demonizing groups of people based on race or religion. Instead, we must push hard for real solutions. One actionable step is to address the proliferation of assault weapons built for killing people. The best way to stop bad guys with guns is good legislators with pens. This is how we protect our people while we fight hate.
Tides has a long history of support for LGBT, Latinx and Muslim communities and the fights for equality and human rights as well as gun control and safety. Today, we are collecting donations from our staff in support of the LGBT Center of Central Florida for its relief efforts associated with this tragedy, and all staff donations will be matched by Tides up to $15,000. If you would like to support the organization, you can donate to the Tides fund here (select LGBT Center of Central Florida as the designee).
With love and in solidarity,