Orlando Vigil Wrap Up

Mayor Tyler gave opening words at the June vigil for the victims of the Orlando massacre

At 9 pm, on Wednesday, June 15th, just days after the Orlando massacre that killed 49 people at a gay nightclub, PACE joined with Central Station, The Korner Lounge, and Mylestone Bar to hold a candlelight vigil on the steps of the Caddo Parish Courthouse in memory of those victims. As President Obama said when he spoke so eloquently to our nation about the worst mass shooting in our nation’s history, gay bars and clubs have always been a safe haven for LGBT people—a kind of sanctuary for them—where they could be accepted and be themselves.  Those usual places for most people—their homes and their houses of worship—were often places of rejection for gay people.  Our local gay bars understand that very well, so it was fitting that they were the ones to organize the vigil and invite PACE to participate as Northwest Louisiana’s leading advocacy organization for the LGBT community.

Hundreds attended the moving peaceful vigil and heard speeches, prayers, and the reading of the victims’ names from participants Mayor Ollie Tyler, City Councilman Jeff Everson, Michael Chisum, Lonnie McCray, Adrienne Critcher, Pastor Juan Huertas, Ed Walsh, and Rev. Barbara Jarrell.  The Shreveport Times reported: “Hundreds spilled out onto the sidewalks and front lawn of the courthouse as she [Mayor Tyler] and other community leaders offered condolences to families of victims and encouragement on moving forward. Many who attended said they came because they felt had to.”  The Times story and pictures are here: http://www.shreveporttimes.com/story/news/local/2016/06/15/shreveport-mayor-standing-together-only-way-eliminate-hatred/85922424/