PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten – “It was not an attack on the gay community, it was an attack on human beings, who deserved to express their love and choices without fear or censorship,” said Member of Parliament (MP) Tamara Leonard, as she expressed condolences to those who lost loved ones in the horrific mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, on Sunday morning, June 12.
The tragedy took place in Pulse, a gay nightclub, when a man opened fire with an assault weapon killing 49 people and injuring some 53 others.
“This shooting may have taken place on Florida, but the shots are reverberating throughout many communities, not only LGBT ones, across the world,” said Leonard of the United People’s Party (UPP).
“St. Maarten has a vibrant LGBT community and while there is still taboo and some discrimination, we are a community that understands difference and can be tolerant and not turn to violence,” commented Leonard.
“The Orlando shooting was not a gay or LGBT tragedy, it is a human tragedy. It is one that points out to us how vulnerable we all are in the face of terrorism and terrorists,” she stated