President Joe Biden enacted a measure designating the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, as a national memorial.
49 people dead and 53 people injured were killed in a shootout in the nightclub on June 12, 2016. It was the deadliest attack on the LGBTQ community in US history.
Biden said in a statement last week that he had “kept in touch with the families of the victims and with the survivors who turned their pain into a goal” and described the club as “holy ground”.
Biden signed the bill on Friday. Local Congressman Dr Raul Ruiz joined local leaders of the LGBTQ community in commemorating the signing of the bill.
“What happened that night in Pulse, a place that many saw as a safe haven, was an act of hatred and terror,” Ruiz said.
“Pulse Nightclub as a national memorial will continue the promise to honor and never forget all those lives we lost on June 12, 2016,” said Miguel Navarro, Community Engagement Manager for the LGBTQ Desert Center . “I hope the memorial can continue to be a calm and peaceful sanctuary and a dedicated love to honor lives lost.”
Biden also called on the Senate to pass the “Equality Act”. He would maintain legal protections for LGBTQ Americans and condemn efforts by many state legislatures he said are discriminatory in nature.
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