President Joe Biden said on the fifth anniversary of a mass shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, that he would sign a bill naming the site a national memorial.
The deadliest attack on the LGBTQ community in American history killed 49 people and injured 53 people when ‘Latin Night’ was celebrated at the club. Biden said in a statement on Saturday that he “remained in touch with families of the victims and with the survivors who turned their pain into a goal” and described the club as “sacred ground”.
The president stressed that the country needs to do more to reduce gun violence, such as banning assault weapons and closing loopholes in regulations that allow arms buyers to circumvent background checks. Biden said the country must acknowledge that gun violence has hurt members of the LGBTQ community.
“We need to dispel hatred and inequalities that contribute to the epidemic of violence and murder against transgender women – especially transgender women of color,” Biden said.
White House advisers Susan Rice and Cedric Richmond presented a virtual round table on Friday with LGBTQ leaders, survivors of gun violence and gun control advocates.
Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband, Douglas Emhoff, walked with the crowd for the Capitol Pride Walk And Rally in Washington on Saturday.
“We still have so much to do,” Harris said.