Community Notes, Stories

Latinos Show Support to LGBT Community with Orlando Memorial

July 9, 2016

Latinos Show Support to LGBT Community with an Orlando Memorial

By Ana Gomez Salcido

To remember the lives that were lost at a mass shooting in an Orlando nightclub last month, more than 80 Latino organizations and public officials organized a memorial that was held at St. Paul Episcopal Cathedral, this Saturday, July 9.

The memorial included the presence of Rt. Reverend James Mathes, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego; and Rt. Reverend Robert McElroy, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego.

“This terrible time of sorrow calls us to see one another as God sees us. There are no children of a lesser god and there are no lesser children of the one God who is the father of us all,” said Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego, while addressing the memorial attendes. “Our failure to recognize this simple reality is the greatest sorrow of all”.

A group of students read the victim’s names and talked about their life’s accomplishments, like Juan Pablo Rivera Velazquez, 37, beauty salon owner who provided free services to women who had been victims of domestic abuse.

“We Latinos are here to show our solidarity with the LGBT community,” said David Valladolid, President and CEO, Parent Institute for Quality Education. “We are all one people.”

In San Diego, there was not a lot said in support to the LGBT community after the massacre in Orlando.

“We didn’t said anything,” said San Diego Latino Community Leader, Luis Natividad. “If you don’t say anything, you’re also guilty.”

Around 60 organizations from the Latino and LGBT communities were represented at the memorial including the participation of the new consul general of the Mexican Consulate in San Diego, Marcela Celorio.

“I come here as a representative of Mexico and as an individual,” said Celorio. “Mexico condemns every act of violence against innocent people.”

Valladolid mentioned that the Latino organizations part of the memorial will be part of the San Diego PRIDE parade, on July 16.

“Orlando is not new to us, the father of one of the victims didn’t want to claim his sons body, this is not new to us,” said Nicole Murray Ramirez, Co-Chair, Harvey Milk Foundation. “Today is a historic night were we gather organizations and bishops, may this day not be last we gather.”

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