Orlando-area faith leaders honor Pulse Nightclub shooting victims, call for more LGBTQ protections

Events all week honor 49 victims and survivors

ORLANDO, Fla. – Multiple religious leaders met Monday at the Joy Metropolitan Community Church in Orlando to remember the 49 people who were killed at Pulse Nightclub nearly five years ago.

Reverends, rabbis and pastors all gathered to express their love for the LGBTQ+ community and also call on lawmakers for stronger anti-discrimination policies adding that they want more protection for the LGBTQ community.

Rev. Terri Steed Pierce from Joy Church said that the Pulse Nightclub shooting is an unforgettable tragedy that brought so many people together including churches who opened their doors and created relationships with the LGBTQ community.

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“I’ve created many friendships that would have never existed prior to this and I’m so thankful that that’s the biggest lesson I’ve learned from Pulse,” Pierce said.

“As a conservative faith leader, it wasn’t until the tragedy of Pulse that I realized that I may have been complicit in that kind of denigration and hatred,” Dr. Joel Hunter, former Northland Church Pastor, said.

Several events are planned for this week to remember the victims and survivors of the deadly mass shooting at Pulse Nightclub on June 12, 2016.

Monday at 7 p.m. One Alliance will also host an in-person free event called An Evening of Reflection & Promise which will include a panel of LGBTQ sharing their own personal stories at the Dr. Phillips Center.

A remembrance ceremony is taking place on June 12th at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts though the event is by invitation only but will be streamed online.

About the Author:

Ezzy Castro is a multimedia journalist on News 6's morning team who has a passion for telling the stories of the people in the Central Florida community. Ezzy worked at WFOR CBS4 in South Florida and KBMT in Beaumont, Texas, where she covered Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Being from Miami, Ezzy loves Cuban coffee and croquetas!