As follow-up stories and reactions spread across the country early Sunday in the wake of the horrific mass murder at an Orlando gay nightclub, the Bay Area woke up to the news just as LGBT Pride month is kicking into gear, and just as many locals are in Los Angeles this morning celebrating Pride there and the conclusion of the AIDS LifeCycle ride Saturday and where there is also breaking news about a possible thwarted terror attack on the LA Pride parade.
Lieutenant Governor and former SF mayor Gavin Newsom was up earliest Sunday, tweeting his horror at the news tacitly also likely reacting to this tweet from Donald Trump, who quickly took the opportunity to politicize the attack and take credit for being "right about radical Islamic terrorism."
I am at a loss for words and heartbroken over the act of terrorism at Pulse in Orlando. #LGBTPride— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) June 12, 2016
#LGBTPride pic.twitter.com/tFgpEn1I9C— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) June 12, 2016
Hate/Darkness win if we allow Islamophobia/xenophobia to take over after homophobia rears its ugly head. #Pulse #LGBTPride— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) June 12, 2016
News has come in fast that the motive behind the shooting for the now deceased gunman Omar Mateen was pretty clearly a homophobic one. As Gothamist reports via NBC News, Mateen's father says his son was recently angry over seeing a gay male couple kissing in public in front of his son.
Gunman's father tells NBC News his son got angry a couple months ago when he saw men kissing at Bayside in Miami pic.twitter.com/MSdCYcHuF9— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) June 12, 2016
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi issued a statement on the attack via Medium:
Our nation has woken to the agonizing news of the brutal attack in Orlando last night. We are horrified and heartbroken to see such hate leveled at so many people hoping just to spend a night out dancing.
Our hearts ache for all those killed in this senseless attack, and we pray for the swift recovery of all those who were wounded. While many questions have yet to be answered, the pain of this attack in a mainstay of the Orlando LGBT community is surely magnified as our nation celebrates LGBT Pride month.
We will not allow hate and terror to succeed in blinding us with fear. May it be a comfort to the loved ones of those who were killed, and all the people of Orlando, that so many across America are holding them in their thoughts at this terrible time.
And San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee issued his own statement Sunday morning, specifically discussing the need to limit access to deadly firearms.
On behalf of the people of San Francisco, I express our deepest sorrow for the people of Orlando and members of our LGBT community after the evil act of terror carried out this morning. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of those who have lost their lives by yet another mass shooting. San Francisco stands in solidarity with the community of Orlando and the nation in the aftermath of this terrible day.
This is a stark reminder of the violence that still threatens our LGBT community. Senseless acts of violence against innocents, fueled by hate and easy access to deadly firearms, have become all-too frequent. We must continue to work each day to reduce gun violence and ensure every community is safe.
Profound tragedies and acts of hate again leave us heartbroken, even numb and speechless. But we resolve today, more than ever, that love, strength and unity will always triumph over hate, fear and violence. San Francisco grieves with the people of Orlando, the LGBT community and the nation today.
The New York Times is reporting that Mateen, 29, had "pledged his allegiance to the Islamic State," though so far it appears this was another "lone wolf" type attack, like the December shooting in San Bernardino.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations held a news conference at their Orlando office today, and CAIR-Florida's Orlando Regional Coordinator Rasha Mubarak said in a statement:
We condemn this monstrous attack and offer our heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of all those killed or injured. The Muslim community joins our fellow Americans in repudiating anyone or any group that would claim to justify or excuse such an appalling act of violence.