Pride PAC Official Statement on Today's Shooting at Pulse Orlando

It is with the greatest of heavy hearts that we send our condolences to the families of those victims that were shot and killed in this morning's hate crimes committed at Pulse night club in Orlando, FL. As a young equity performer at Disney World, I frequented Pulse nightclub and made a second family and home in Orlando. I have fond memories of the sense of freedom and acceptance from the community in light of being located in the heart of the red-state south. This tragedy has hit home and it is time for us to act.

We at the Pride PAC are dedicated to doing everything in our power to not only advocate full equality in the LGBT community, but advocate for policies that ensure the health and safety of our community. This is why access and education to PrEP and PEP have been a large part of our advocacy in this election, as we see the current lack of access to this preventative medication is a health concern in our community. The incidents for this morning's shootings and the easy access to semi-automatic weapons is in the same family of health concerns that we have for our community. And this must change. In the words of LA Pride President Chris Classen, "We marched in 1970 against violence. We MUST do it again today."

Pulse night club was not just a night club for the Orlando gay community, but a place of celebration, safety and acceptance in a state and country where the LGBT community is continually fighting for basic equal rights. We may now have the ability to marry the one we love, but we still do not have the right to safety in places we trust and feel comfortable patronizing. The best thing we can do is fight for change. At the Pride PAC, we believe in action and a path forward that will ensure full equality, health and safety for our community. In response to these shootings, I, as chairman will be enacting platforms that will commit resources to enforce simple, yet powerful gun regulations to keep our community and the rest of America safe:

1. Enact a complete ban on assault rifles above a single-barrel shotgun or handheld pistol

2. Enact universal and extended background checks for all gun purchases

3. Require a state-issued gun license that is only obtainable through a required 40-hours of instructional training and an 80% pass on a state gun aptitude test.

We believe that if it is more difficult to obtain a license to drive a car than a gun, we need to make some serious changes. We will make this initiative a top priority in the Pride PAC's mission to elect pro-LGBT legislators and federal officials and give this promise to our community:

We will do everything in our power to make sure the victims of the Orlando shooting will not die in vain. We will fight to save lives and protect our LGBT brothers, sisters and allies and send a message to the nation and world that no one can dim our shine and take away our Pride.

Marcus Lovingood

Chairman, Pride PAC

If you'd like to be part of the change, sign our petition demanding our lawmakers enact meaningful gun safety regulations.

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