Vigils Held For Orlando Victims Across Connecticut | NECN
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Vigils Held For Orlando Victims Across Connecticut

(Published Sunday, June 12, 2016)

People across the state came together on Sunday to remember the lives lost in the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando and more vigils are planned for Monday.

Members of the gun-control group, Newtown Action Alliance held a vigil at the National Shooting Sports Foundation headquarters in Newtown Sunday night. The organization is the firearms industry's trade association.

At the State Capitol in Hartford, a gathering brought together two groups now connected through this tragedy: the LGBT community and Muslims.

They were there to support each other and stand up against hate and violence.

For people involved in “True Colors” – a Hartford-based LGBT youth group – the rampage at a gay club hits home.

“We can’t forget though that it is a hate crime against LGBT folks in the one place they’re supposed to be safe,” said Robin McHaelen,executive director of "True Colors."

Members of the American Muslim Peace Initiative expressed outrage at the violence. The actions and possible motive of a lone gunman should not be linked to mainstream Islam, according to group members.

“The individual who acted in the way he did does not represent our faith,” said Saud Anwar, co-chair of American Muslim Peace Initiative.

At the New Haven Pride Center, June is Pride month and supposed to be a time to celebrate.

Now, the mass shooting was a reminder of what they see as the frustrating history of violence against the LGBT community.

“It’s an LGBT violence problem but it’s also a gun violence problem. So we’ve been dealing with both in our country for a very long time and it just underscores that we have a long way to go,” said Joshua O’Connell, co-president of the New Haven Pride Center.

A prayer vigil was planned at the Baitul Aman House of Peace Mosque in Meriden at 8 p.m. Sunday, and people planned to gather at St. Paul's on the Green in Norwalk as well.

The First Church of Christ in Hartford, will hold a prayer service and vigil at 12:30 p.m. and said the Meeting House at the corner of Main and Gold streets will be open to all until 2 p.m. for prayer and meditation.

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