GOP “Loaded Those Bullets With Hatred,” says Orlando City Commissioner

kim kardashian

Patty Sheehan, Orlando’s openly lesbian City Commissioner, is criticizing Republicans for their hateful anti-LGBT rhetoric, as well as their and the media’s straight-washing of the Orlando mass shooting at a gay nightclub, which occurred in the district for which she is the elected representative.

In an interview with Michelangelo Signorile on SiriusXM Progress, Sheehan identified the Pulse shooting as a tragedy for the LGBT community, particularly Latino people, who were targeted by the shooter on Pulse’s Latin Night. Signorile wrote about the interview in a Huffington Post piece:

She said she’s angry that many GOP politicians wouldn’t even say the words ‘LGBT’ or ‘gay,’ and were thereby attempting to straightwash the targets of the attack. She also has a message for those GOP politicians who both have voted against LGBT rights and voted against gun safety measures, yet expressed sympathy for the victims.

‘Marco Rubio, the senator from Florida, walked on our blood-stained streets with people from the Hispanic community,’ Sheehan observed of Rubio, who has been a vocal opponent of LGBT rights and even promised if elected president to try to overturn the Supreme Court’s historic marriage equality ruling. ‘And he went right back to Washington – one of the few times he actually showed up for work – and voted against sensible gun legislation.’

‘If this doesn’t change your heart?’ she continued, not needing to finish the rhetorical question. ‘There were people from [Rubio’s] office – it was [a staffer’s] hair stylist who got shot and killed. This was a personal connection people from his office had with these young people. And he still couldn’t find it in his heart to do the right thing.’

Florida’s GOP governor, Rick Scott, like Rubio, has also opposed LGBT rights and even as recently as earlier this year signed anti-LGBT legislation.

‘My governor couldn’t say the word ‘gay’ — until he was called out on it,’ Sheehan commented, then broadened her critique to other Republicans. ‘And I’ve called a lot of them out on it. I said, ‘How dare you come here to my city – our city – and stand in front of the microphone and take up space….You loaded those bullets with hatred, as far as I’m concerned.’

LGBT activists like Patty Sheehan have been disgusted with the Republican response to the Orlando shooting, in which the GOP has ignored the fact that it was an anti-LGBT hate crime and instead used the tragedy to spread Islamophobia.

Ever since the mass shooting occurred, Sheehan has been fighting to ensure that the victims are not whitewashed or straight-washed. They were Latino queer people, and should be remembered for who they were rather than who politicians and the media want them to be.

Sheehan dealt with the funerals of the 49 victims, finding an area of the local cemetery big enough to fit all of them if their families wanted them to be buried there. She also had to put up a construction fence around the cemetery and organize a human chain of LGBT people to encircle the grave at each funeral, so that the intensely anti-LGBT hate group known as the Westboro Baptist Church could not picket the funerals. Sheehan spoke to the press about this experience:

“People want to talk about jihadists and Muslim extremists, but they don’t see that we have Christian religious political extremists right here among us. They won’t condemn this activity, and that’s so hypocritical. That’s the message I want to get across: there are so many people wanting to shove me and all the rest of the gay community into the background and not talk about the fact that this is hatred, and we have been dealing with it forever… If this happened in a church, would people not mention God? Scott was afraid that saying ‘gay’ would harm him politically. Well, if you don’t have the courage to stand up and console people, then why are you even here?”

Along with Governor Rick Scott, she criticized Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, who has been a leading voice against gay marriage. “She came up to me and wanted to hug me. She just doesn’t get it. The woman honestly does not understand why the community is upset with her. What these people do not understand is that by fighting against my rights, they helped create this climate of terrorism and hatred.”

Even before the shooting, Sheehan had been fighting for LGBT rights. Her first run for elected office was in 1996, but she lost due to a homophobic smear campaign. She ran again in 2000, and has been in office ever since. In her battle to achieve equality for the LGBT community in Orlando, she secured anti-discrimination protections for non-straight employees and the legalization of domestic partnerships for same-sex couples, years before the Supreme Court made marriage equality the law nationwide.

In her struggle for LGBT equality, she faced intense discrimination. “[Christian conservatives] said that we eat faeces, that we are paedophiles, that the next thing will be sex with animals.”

However, she did not lose hope, and has still not lost hope after the Orlando massacre.

“I’ve seen so much more love in this community in these past few days than the gunman’s hatred. I’ve seen people coming together to display the good part of humanity and the soul of my city, and that is the answer…

I believe love will conquer hate. I believe that creativity is a much more valuable commodity than destruction.”

You can listen to Sheehan’s SiriusXM interview here, and watch her CBS interview the day after the Orlando shooting here. Learn more about the City Commissioner here, on the City of Orlando website.

About News Team

Hi, I'm Alex Perez, an experienced writer with a focus on lifestyle and culture news. From food and fashion to travel and entertainment, I love exploring the latest trends and sharing my insights with readers. I also have a strong interest in world news and business, and enjoy covering breaking stories and events.

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