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A letter from Marvo Reguindin, INBA General Manager

I am numb and saddened reading about the tragedy in Orlando this past Sunday morning. Our thoughts are with the victims and members of Orlando’s LGBT Chamber – Metropolitan Business Association, as they grieve and begin to rebuild their community. The shooting at Pulse Night club was horrific left 49 victims dead and more than 50 wounded and is now labeled the deadliest mass shooting in America’s history. And sadly, hours later, this story was followed by an averted mass shooting at the Los Angeles Pride Parade.

Another sad reality from the shooting in Orlando comes from the fact that even as a community, gay and bisexual men are not able to help in the most precious way, by giving blood. The FDA’s 12 month waiting period for men who have sex with men is yet another way our community is marginalized on a daily basis.

The LGBT Community celebrates Pride because for decades  LGBT people have been beat up, jailed, judged, and killed because of who we love or how we identify as a person. Pride is our way of affirming our strength as a community and who we are individuals and survivors. Pride is for celebrating our current wins for equal rights, but  sadly the Orlando tragedy shows that we still have a long way to go to feel truly safe and equal.

During the weeks leading up to Spokane’s 25th Pride celebration, the LGBT community was able to display Pride street banners and rainbow flags. There was excitement in the air and while marching in the parade my partner and I held hands in public for the first time in years. I had never felt so proud and safe during that moment.

I refuse to let two hateful events make me back down as gay man and leader in the LGBTA Community. If anything, it has made me stronger and prouder of who I am as a person. I am hopeful that the love and support expressed across the nation and the world will inspire INBA members, friends, and those who have never before given LGBT rights a thought, to stay strong in the face of such hatred.

This tragedy is not a setback for the LGBT community, it is a call to rise above the hate and be strong as we have done many times before. But it is time for our country, our leaders, and our citizens to finally stand up and say, “enough”.

marvo signature

Marvo Reguindin
General Manager, INBA

Download a .pdf of this letter: Marvo_Orlando Statement

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