Lanark and Hamilton East MP Angela Crawley has said that the Orlando attack is a stark reminder of how much remains to be done to tackle prejudice and secure equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people.
Politicians at Holyrood and Westminster will today join in vigils and other efforts to remember the fifty people who were killed, to stand up against homophobia and transphobia, and to stand up for LGBTI equality.
At Holyrood, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted “Scotland stands in solidarity with the people of Orlando, and LGBTI communities across the world” and the rainbow flag is flying at half-mast over Scottish Government buildings.
At Westminster, Angela Crawley MP, has tabled an Early Day Motion co-sponsored by SNP Westminster Leader Angus Robertson condemning the attacks and recognising that “we all have a responsibility to challenge the culture of homophobia and transphobia that exists in society in all its forms”
Later today at 5.30pm, a vigil organised by John Nicolson MP and Chris Bryant MP will be held outside the Houses of Parliament, with MPs and parliamentary staff being addressed by Speaker John Bercow.
Commenting Angela Crawley MP said:
“Our thoughts are with the victims of this horrific attack, their friends and their families.
“Whatever the range of motives it is clear that homophobic prejudice played a part and that many LGBTI people are feeling particular devastation at what feels like an attack on our whole community.
“This was the deadliest mass shooting in the US in recent times and one of the worst homophobic attacks in history.
“This act of extreme hatred is a stark reminder of the prejudice and discrimination that LGBTI people continue to face and of how much remains to be done to secure full equality.
“However far we have come in recent years we all have a responsibility to challenge and seek to end the culture of homophobia and transphobia that still exists in society. Until we do, prejudice, discrimination and extreme acts of hate will continue to happen.
“As pride season is celebrated in Scotland, the UK, and around the world, LGBTI people will not be cowed back into the closet as a result of this attack. Instead we will stand defiantly and proudly for equality and in memory of all those who have suffered and continue to suffer as a result of prejudice.”
Full text of ‘Orlando Attacks’ Early Day Motion 190:
‘That this House condemns the homophobic attack in Orlando Florida that is estimated to have killed fifty people and wounded fifty-three more in what is considered the deadliest mass shooting in recent US history; Welcomes the vigils that are being held in cities across the world with communities uniting to mourn those who have died and to stand up against homophobia; Believes that this act of extreme hate is a stark reminder of the prejudice and discrimination that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people continue to face; Recognises that we all have a responsibility to challenge the culture of homophobia and transphobia that exists in society in all its forms and that until we do prejudice, discrimination and extreme acts of hate will continue to happen.’