Vigils and other events to mourn the slain martyrs of Orlando have occurred since June 12 and are continuing to take place in cities large and small across the United States as well as in other countries. Here are two reports from WW correspondents Martha Grevatt in Detroit and Gloria Rubac in Houston.
Metro Detroit has held several vigils, in different parts of the city and suburbs, to express grief and rage over the Orlando massacre. The largest was held June 14 inside and outside the LGBTQ community center, Affirmations. While the capacity crowd of 350 listened to speakers inside the center, another 300 who could not get in gathered outside. Between long periods of mournful silence, those outside sang the Civil Rights song “We Shall Overcome” and, towards the end, chanted, “We are all Orlando! Bigotry has got to go!” Activists from the Michigan Emergency Committee Against War and Injustice held signs that read “No to anti-LGBTQ bigotry! No to Islamophobia!” Vigil attendees, one after another, complimented and took cellphone pictures of the signs.
As soon as word of the Orlando murders hit Houston, people were at City Hall for a vigil. There were also thousands at a vigil at South Beach, an LGBTQ nightclub, as well as large crowds at the Montrose Community Center, at Resurrection Community Church and at another candlelight vigil at City Hall. Houston’s African-American mayor Sylvester Turner spoke at most of the events, saying the city of Houston will not tolerate anti-gay violence. City Hall will be lit up in the colors of the LGBTQ rainbow for the month of June.