(AP) – President Joe Biden said on the fifth anniversary of a mass shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, that he will sign a bill naming the site as a national memorial.
The deadliest attack on the LGBTQ community in U.S. history left 49 people dead and 53 people wounded as “Latin Night” was being celebrated at the club. Biden said in a statement Saturday that he has “stayed in touch with families of the victims and with the survivors who have turned their pain into purpose" and described the club as “hallowed ground.”
The president emphasized that the country must do more to reduce gun violence, such as banning assault weapons and closing loopholes in regulations that enable gun buyers to bypass background checks. Biden said the nation must acknowledge that gun violence has hurt members of the LGBTQ community
“We must drive out hate and inequities that contribute to the epidemic of violence and murder against transgender women — especially transgender women of color,” Biden said.
White House advisers Susan Rice and Cedric Richmond hosted a virtual roundtable on Friday with LGBTQ leaders, gun violence survivors and gun control advocates.
Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband, Douglas Emhoff, walked Saturday with the crowd for the Capitol Pride Walk And Rally in Washington.
“We still have so much to do,” Harris said.