Gainesville Unites Against “Queerphobia and Islamaphobia”

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They walked through the June heat draped in pride flags and carrying signs for the 1.4 miles from Turlington Plaza to Gainesville City Hall to honor the victims of the Pulse night club shooting in Orlando.

Islam On Campus and the Pride Student Union organized the small group of marchers who eventually joined nearly 1,000 others at Gainesville City Hall for a candlelight vigil at 7 p.m. Monday night.

Jacof Teran told the group, “I guess all I can say is thank you for being here and doing what you can do and not just sharing a Facebook post or changing your cover photo.”

At City Hall community leaders and members of the clergy addressed the billowing crowd standing in the sweltering heat  under thunderous skies in unification.

Diana Moreno, program coordinator of Hispanic-Latino Affairs at the University of Florida, told the crowd to not let homophobia and islamophobia takeover, especially against the Muslim community.

“It is our responsibility as a community to stand together against both queerphobia and islamophobia.”

The speakers wrapped up as the sun began to set and the plaza dimmed. Volunteers and attendees lit candles and tea-lights. Friends embraced and sat in silence to remember the 49 dead and the 53 injured by shooter Omar Mateen at Pulse nightclub in Orlando early Sunday morning.

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