Please attribute the following statement on this weekend’s mass murder in Orlando, Florida to Hector O. Villagra, executive director of the ACLU of Southern California:
The ACLU of Southern California (ACLU SoCal) offers our sincerest condolences to the families of the Orlando massacre victims. Our grief runs deep for the unfathomable loss of the innocent souls and the surviving victims at the Pulse nightclub who were wounded and traumatized by this tragedy.
The Orlando shootings and the investigation here in Southern California into a heavily armed suspect who planned to attend this weekend’s L.A. Pride activities are stark reminders of the ongoing threats that face the LGBTQ community. ACLU SoCal is committed to upholding the civil liberties of all people and stands by the LGBTQ community in the continuing fight for equal rights and dignity for all.
That this shooting occurred on Latin night at Pulse and that many of the victims were queer people of color and Latinos should not be ignored. America’s rich diversity includes many diverse identities, all of which should be respected. ACLU SoCal is committed to promoting and protecting the full richness of the American ‘We.’
Further, ACLU SoCal stands with the Muslim community, which has been wrongfully demonized by demagogues who seek to divide our nation. We will not stand idly by while law-abiding people of any race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity are threatened with retaliation.
The Orlando attack was an affront to everyone. We must not compound it by stoking fear and bigotry. Let us focus our attention on healing, and honor the memory of the victims by coming together for the common good.
Media contact: Tony Marcano, 213.977.5242,