Hundreds gather for Orlando candlelight vigils


Brisbane Orlando Candlelight Vigil

Hundreds gathered in Brisbane’s Reddacliff Place for a candlelight vigil to honour the victims of last weekend’s shooting at gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando, Florida.

Brisbane Pride organised the event. It featured speeches from Brisbane Pride President Deeje Hancock, PFLAG’s Shelley Argent, Brisbane Pride Committee member Michael O’Brien, Australian Marriage Equality’s Peter Black, and Dr Wendell Rosevear from Stonewall Medical Centre. Rainbow lights illuminated the nearby Treasury Casino.

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One speaker, Harry, told the crowd he worked at Pulse in the past and he grieved the deaths of three friends.

Before a minute’s silence, Brisbane Pride vice-president Shaz Gerchow thanked everyone in the crowd for attending the vigil.

“[The Pulse patrons] showed up and those of us who are left will always show up.

“Keep showing up. Show up with love, show up with integrity, show up with courage and show up with pride. Please keep showing up and show up with hope.”

A section of the kilometres-long rainbow flag created in Florida for the 25th anniversary of its inception and donated to Brisbane Pride was earlier unfurled in front of the stage.

at the candlelight vigil for orlando

A photo posted by Peter Black (@peterjblack) on

The Sportsman Hotel in Brisbane will pause for a minute’s silence during bingo this Friday night. It will also hold another minute’s silence during one of the shows on Saturday night. The Beat Megaclub will also hold a minute’s silence at midnight this Saturday night.

Sunshine Coast, Cairns and Toowoomba

On the Sunshine Coast, community members gathered at a vigil in Cotton Tree Park in Maroochydore on Tuesday. They heard speeches from representatives of Sunshine Coast Pride, PFLAG, the Anglican Church and Amnesty International.

Tuesday night also saw vigils conducted in Cairns and Toowoomba.

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Lismore will hold a candlight vigil tonight and Townsville will hold one this Sunday to honour the Orlando victims.

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