In the early hours of Sunday, June 12th, a gunman killed 49 people and injured 53 others at a queer club, Pulse, in Orlando, Florida during the club’s Latino Night. Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) recognizes this attack as a tragic consequence of the homophobia and transphobia embedded within the United States’ domestic policies and economic system.
Legislatures across the US have introduced over 200 anti-LGBT bills in the past 6 months alone. In Orlando, and several other cities across the United States, it is legal to fire someone and for doctors to refuse medical treatment to someone on the basis of their sexual and/or gender orientation. These policies codify homophobia, transphobia, and effectively hinder LGBTQ folks from living. SDS condemns these policies and encourages chapters to speak out against them in any actions connected with the Orlando shooting.
Due to the shooter’s pledge of allegiance to ISIS, mainstream media and prominent politicians such as Donald Trump are using this tragedy to promote agendas of hate and fear. SDS opposes these attempts by the ruling class to pit these two oppressed groups against one another and knows that the people united will never be defeated.
SDS will continue to fight against Islamophobia and the way it is wielded to justify wars abroad and at home, and remains dedicated to fighting transphobia and homophobia. SDS sends love and solidarity to those in Orlando who have lost loved ones, our LGBTQIA+, Muslim and Arab comrades, and those whose lives are impacted by this tragedy, whether directly or indirectly.