Dozens of Democratic lawmakers held a
vigil Tuesday on the House steps to remember the victims of a mass
shooting in a gay nightclub in Orlando.
Tuesday was the one-month anniversary
of the shooting, which took the lives of 49 people and wounded
Lawmakers took turns at the podium
while holding images of those who died in the massacre.
Wisconsin Rep. Mark Pocan told the
small crowd that he wept when he heard the news on the radio, saying
that he was reminded of an incident of violence he faced coming out
of a gay bar in Madison.
“It was reminding me of 27 years ago
back in Madison, Wisconsin when I left a gay club, was followed by
two people and beaten with a baseball bat,” he said. “I only had
stitches and scars, but for the people of Orlando, they paid the
price with their lives.”
“It's time we do something about gun
violence. I knew the next day I was going to be coming to Washington
and we were going to do absolutely nothing about guns and about
discrimination,” he added.
David Cicilline, an out representative
from Rhode Island, opened the service. In his remarks, he called the
shooting a “hate crime.”
The vigil was held on the same day that
a Republican-controlled House committee held a hearing on a bill that
seeks to protect opponents of the Supreme Court's 2015 finding that
gay and lesbian couples have a constitutional right to marry.
hears bill to protect gay marriage foes on 1-month anniversary of