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China’s LGBT groups voice support to victims of Orlando massacre

A vigil near is held near the Beaubourg art center in downtown Paris on June 12, 2016, to mourn for victims of the mass shooting in Orlando.Photo:Getty Images

On Monday (Beijing time), China’s online community was once again shivered by the news of gunfire from the United States, which is reported to be the “worst terror attack” since September 11, 2001.

President Barack Obama is calling the slaughter at the Pulse gay bar in Orlando an “act of terror and hate”. He also said “this is an especially heartbreaking day for our friends who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender,” while the violence could have hit any American community.

Around 200 Chinese LGBT organizations issued a joint statement through the WeChat account LGBT Rights Advocacy Committee to express grief to the victims of the slaughter and condemn the killer.

“As Chinese LGBT group, we stand together with the victims, and the relatives of the victims of the terror attack at the Orlando gay nightclub, as well as all the LGBT groups around the globe,” it said, “We condemn terrorism and violence based on bias against sexual orientation and gender expression. Here we mourn, we rally and we love each other.”

“We think that human being should be free from any threat to their lives and freedom, which are our basic human rights. Every country and government should take responsibility to protect such rights. Violence on gender minority groups and all the other groups is intolerable because gender minority groups have the equal human rights as the majority group, which should not be deprived because of their sexual orientation and gender expression,” it said.

The mass shooting occurred on Jun 12 and has led to at least 50 people dead and 53 injured. The gunman called Omar Mateen who pledged allegiance to ISIS was also killed by Orlando police leaving his true motivation more difficult to be determined.

However, “whatever eventually comes to light about what motivated the Orlando shooter, the fact remains that the death toll probably would have been lower had he not had access to an automatic weapon,” said a commentary by Reuters on Sunday.

On China’s largest social media, Sina Weibo, a hashtag, US Orlando Shooting, was created by @央视新闻, official Weibo account of CCTV on Monday, with over 20,000 people discussing within hours under the hashtag.

Many expressed grief toward the victims and called for control on gun ownership in America.

“Every human being is equal. May all the victims killed rest in peace,” said @清塘荷韵瘦鲻鱼.

“I really, really hope such kind of things will never happen again in the future,” said @恋云莎.

“It seems that America really needs to change the law and control the guns from now on,” said @來自益星球.

On the other hand, some also denounced the killer and said the root cause of such a tragedy is not ownership of guns but malicious human nature.

“What really frightens us is not the gun, but the psychic distortion and hatred,” said @QUAN圈的日与夜.

“Although sometimes I feel embarrassed when seeing a couple kissing at the street, I know I need to respect them. I really cannot imagine how the killer could do such a thing,” said @Leecovi.

According to Mateen’s parents who are from Afghanistan, Mateen expressed outrage after seeing two men kissing each other in Miami, which was one of the reasons that led the authorities to believe the shooting was an act of hatred.

It is not the first time that Chinese netizens are bewildered by a shooting case of America. The last case was the death of a Chinese undergraduate student studying in Arizona State University who was shot by an American woman after a car accident.

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