EDITOR’S NOTE: This opinion piece originally appeared in the Advocate magazine and is being published with the consent of the Log Cabin Republicans.
June 12th, 2017, will be the one year anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida. Forty-nine members of the LGBT community and straight allies lost their lives that night, and 68 others were wounded when a radical Islamic terrorist carried out a vicious attack on those simply wanting to have a fun night out with friends. It was the deadliest shooting in American history.
We all remember where we were when we first heard of this horrific act of barbarism. In Los Angeles, people in our community woke up on Sunday morning, the second day of our usually joyous LGBT Pride Festival, to the news of what had happened to our brothers and sisters the night before- in a place that most LGBT people consider sacred and safe. Fear, sadness and uncertainty carried the day in West Hollywood, where city officials, law enforcement and festival organizers rightly decided that we must stand up to the evil and hatred which spurred the attack on our community 2500 miles away and carry on with the parade and festival which for decades has stood for progress and celebration. Although more somber than usual, the festivities continued and we felt united as a community on that day.
Many of us expected that this year’s LA Pride Festival would focus on unity and in some way memorialize the fact that our celebration falls on the one-year anniversary of the Orlando terrorist attack which took 49 of our dearest loved ones. However, rather than honoring those who lost their lives exactly one year earlier, LA Pride organizers have canceled the annual Pride Parade and instead are endorsing a partisan and political anti-President Trump protest march which will bring 200,000 to 500,000 protesters to the gates of the now-shrunken Pride Festival grounds in West Hollywood.
This short-sighted and politically fueled tirade does little to celebrate and inform, nor does it demonstrate any kind of pride or diversity.
Partisan rabble rousers would like you to #resist, but this is just code for #divide. A divided community and a divided nation leaves us vulnerable to those who would do us harm. As Barbara Poma, the owner of Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, has said repeatedly, “We are weak when we are divided.” The political activism which is being planned during our Pride weekend- which should both celebrate and pay tribute to those who gave their lives -is appalling and a manufactured ploy to increase already heated partisan tensions. It does nothing to educate our detractors or win hearts and minds. It does nothing to communicate with lawmakers. It does nothing to keep us safe from terrorists who hate us. And it does nothing to memorialize the lives lost in Orlando.
We at Log Cabin Republicans have not forgotten our brothers and sisters who were the victims of radical Islamic terrorism inside what was usually their place of refuge- Pulse Nightclub -in Orlando a year ago. Since the organizers of LA Pride will not stand up to recognize the victims who gave their lives at the hands of a terrorist on that hallowed day, then we will.
Log Cabin Republicans has partnered with onePULSE Foundation, founded by the owners of the Pulse Nightclub, to support the launch of their fundraising initiative to a.) construct a permanent national memorial to those who died in last year’s attack, b.) fund 49 scholarships tailored around the interests of each of those we lost, and c.) provide grants to the survivors and to the families of those who died. This Pride season, we invite all members of the community to remember those who were engaged in celebration a year ago- just as we were celebrating here in LA -and who paid the ultimate price for being visible and proud members of the LGBT community and allies. To help onePULSE create a “sanctuary of hope,” please visit here www.gofundme.com/LCRforonePULSE. Unity and remembrance is the best way to ensure that LA Pride 2017 appropriately recognizes the sacrifices so many have made.
Matthew Craffey is the president of the Los Angeles Chapter of Log Cabin Republicans and current chairman of California Log Cabin Republicans. Charles T. Moran is the past chairman of California Log Cabin Republicans.
i am anti log cabin republicans. hmmmm…….where does the apostrophe go??? or is there a need for one? doesn’t much matter. #resist is here and it is what you make of it. don’t like it? don’t participate. no one says you have to. stay home and watch reruns of melania being disrespected . or something……
The LGBTQI community who supported HRC over Bernie and the DNC cheaters are responsible for electing Trump, and now they are protesting him and wanting to impeach him? I’m no Trump supporter, but I’ll take him over Mike Pence, or Paul Ryan or any of the other legal substitutes for President should he be impeached. Your HRC will not be President if he is impeached, neither will the more deserving Bernie Sanders. If you want to change our Corrupt Government you need to do it from the ground up grassroots style like the Green Part is doing. Spend your futile… Read more »
It was always my thinking that what LGBT people stood for — equality, tolerance, and acceptance was what we were fighting for. Unfortunately, we have an administration that supports none of this, and seeks to Balkanize America and divide us. Couple that with the appointments of anti-science religious fascists, have no alternative but to resist and to continue to fight for what we believe in.
Joshua88, people can write whatever they want. Log Cabin Republicans of Los Angeles should be ashamed of your endorsement of our sitting president, even if you are deluded enough to think “he supports gay rights.” Even if that were true, it is OK to sell out women and minorities? Oppressed people? People with pre-existing conditions? OK to support someone who acts like a big baby, and is a terrible role model for our children, not to mention an embarrassment to us as a nation? Who openly uses disparaging words towards women? Who makes fun of disabled people? Who wastes public… Read more »
You cannot comment unless you write,”radical Islamic terrorist” at least twice. They hate us (for our freedom)? They hate the imperial US presidency and the ever-expanding empire. They hate our drones. Mr Block, the word is not policy with an apostrophe, it is policy plural. Mr Craffey & Mr Moran – it is a good cause that you are promoting. This time of resistance couldn’t be more important. If you don’t think there is diversity in the resistance, you are not paying attention. Irrespective of today, the next festival, or the next four years of partisan politics, Pride is always… Read more »
The Resist March is not an anti-Trump march, its an anti policy march where you and I can walk down the street against or in support of this president. With all due respect to the thoughts of the authors — Mike Pence has sponsored the religious freedom law in Indiana that would allow businesses to discriminate based on sexual orientation. Remember the baker who did not want to bake a gay wedding cake?.. and that sponsor of that idea is in the White House. Some say to ‘elected officials’ when will you put your country over your party? And to… Read more »