Gay Men's Chorus Delivers Powerful Performance in Front of White House in Wake of Orlando Shooting: 'We Are Not Afraid'
Members of the gay community are vowing to “overcome” in the wake of the horrific Orlando, Florida, shooting at a gay nightclub that left at least 50 people dead and dozens injured.
Members of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington gathered in front of the White House on Sunday to sing at a vigil in honor of the dozens killed in the deadliest mass shooting in American history.
The men, with many donning the chorus’ signature blue t-shirt, sang “We Shall Overcome,” “Make Them Hear You” from the musical Ragtime and the national anthem.
The men, along with dozens of supporters at the vigil, held signs that read “R.I.P. End Homophobia Now,” “Stop Gun Violence & Homophobia,” “Love Conquers Hate” and more.
“We are so devastated by the events of today,” a chorus spokesperson said at the event. “I could not grieve more for central Florida right now. The chorus is here to sing for equality and for peace.”
The moving display came just hours after suspect Omar Saddiqui Mateen allegedly opened fire on Pulse nightclub around 2 a.m., killing at least 49 people and injuring at least 53 before dying in a shootout with authorities after 5 a.m.
• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.
The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack, Reuters reports.
RELATED VIDEO: People Reporter Shares His Experience Reporting From Scene and Being a Member of Community Where Orlando Mass Shooting Took Place
“What is clear is that [the shooter] was a person filled with hatred,” he said. “This is a sobering reminder that attacks on any American is an attack on all of us.”
Obama urged for stricter gun laws, noting that the attack is a “reminder of how easy it is for someone to get their hands on a weapon that lets them shoot people in a school or in a house of worship or a movie theater or in a nightclub.”
He added: “We have to decide if that’s the country we want to be. To actively do nothing is a decision as well.”