Florida lawmakers propose bill to make Pulse Nightclub permanent memorial and museum

The legislation would make the Orlando nighclub a federal landmark to honour the 49 people killed in what was the deadliest act of violence against LGBT+ people in U.S. history.

Pulse nightclub

Lawmakers in Florida have proposed a bill that would make Pulse nightclub a national memorial. The proposal coincides with the third anniversary of the mass shooting at the nightclub.

The proposal was introduced by Democratic U.S. Representatives Darren Soto, Stephanie Murphy and Val Demings and would designate the now-closed Pulse nightclub as a federal landmark to honour the 49 people killed in what was the deadliest act of violence against LGBT+ people in U.S. history.

“The memorial will serve as a reminder of the remarkable way our community came together to heal and overcome hate,” Soto said Monday to a crowd in front of Pulse’s interim memorial. “We recognize the need to preserve LGBTQ historic sites because of cases like the Matthew Shepard Memorial, which have been deliberately destroyed over time without these protections. Let the Pulse Memorial become a symbol of hope, love and light.”

Today, June 12, marks three years since 49 people were killed and over 50 others injured by a lone shooter, 29 year-old Omar Mateen, during the LGBT+ nightclub’s Latin night.

Mateen was killed by police who entered the club, rescuing thirty hostages in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Following the mass shooting, President Obama released a statement declaring the shooting as an act of terror and hate against everything America stands for.

“The Pulse tragedy shook our community to its core and forever changed us,” Murphy said in a statement. “It’s important we remember the love that the 49 victims and their loved ones brought into this world, which will always be stronger than the hate that stole their lives on that day.”

The onePULSE Foundation is working to raise $50 million for the design, construction and maintenance of a permanent memorial and museum as well as 49 scholarship funds.

Lawmakers hope to pass the bill by June 2020, with the memorial and museum expected to open in 2022.

© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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