Philly religious, LGBT representatives unite for Orlando

Sarah Bloomquist Image
Monday, June 13, 2016
VIDEO: Philly leaders come together to speak against Orlando shooting
Representatives of many of the Philadelphia?s faith based communities and the LGBT community came together Monday to condemn what happened in Orlando.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A candlelight vigil for the victims of the massacre in Orlando took place Monday night outside City Hall in Philadelphia.

Earlier, representatives of many of the city's faith based communities and the LGBT community came together to condemn what happened in Orlando.

"We are all reeling in pain from the tragic events that happened in Orlando," Executive Director of the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations Rue Landau said.

A pastor, an Imam, a rabbi, LGBT leaders assembled to show they are united in the wake of the mass shooting in Orlando and to call for change.

"We need gun control, clearly, but we also need people to start opening up their hearts and opening up their minds and coming together in peace and togetherness," Landau said.

Outside the Arch Street United Methodist Church in Center City, fifty empty chairs sit at a long table representing the lives lost including the shooter who the church says was "twisted with hate."

Local Muslim leaders said their communities feel fear and isolation. They condemned the attack.

"Firstly on the basis of human. We are all human beings. Secondly, that we are Americans. Thirdly, as Muslims who are Americans and we stand out firmly as the Quran says for justice," Imam Salaam Muhsin of mosque Masjidullah.

"I hope they will know that there are people including within the gay and lesbian community that do not blame this heinous act upon them," Jacob Bender, Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said.

Mark Segal, publisher of the Philadelphia Gay News, called out Donald Trump, accusing him of using the tragedy to forward his political message.

"He doesn't address or speak to those of us who are mourning. You are a coward! Speak to us. Don't use our bodies for your political purposes," Segal said.