Gay lawmaker to honor Orlando victims in Georgia Capitol

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The victims of the Orlando gay bar massacre will be honored inside the Georgia State Capitol on Monday with a memorial concert organized by one of the legislature's three openly gay members. 

The event, organized by state Rep. Karla Drenner (photo), will include performances by the Atlanta Women's Chorus and the Atlanta Gay Men's Chorus. The hour-long event will take place at noon in the Rotunda.

In a statement on Monday, Drenner called the attack “a tragic loss.”

“We are deeply saddened to hear of the tragic loss of many innocent lives in Orlando, Florida,” Drenner said in a statement with the legislatures two other LGBT lawmakers, Reps. Keisha Waites and Park Cannon. 

“There are also many steps we can take to lessen the chance of these types of mass shootings from occurring in Georgia, including exploring legislation to prevent individuals who have been listed at some point on an FBI watch list as potential threats to our safety from procuring such weapons,” Drenner added.

Hosting an event to honor the Orlando victims – many of whom were LGBT – in the Gold Dome is poignant. Just months ago, the Capitol was the scene of a fierce legislative battle as conservative religious lawmakers pushed to pass several pieces of anti-gay legislation. A “religious freedom” bill that sparked a national backlash passed but was later vetoed by Gov. Nathan Deal.

The memorial concert on Monday is among several recent events to honor the victims. Vigils in Midtown on Sunday and downtown on Tuesday drew thousands of people. A bar crawl on Thursday helped raise funds for the staff of Pulse, the nightclub where the massacre took place. We Are Orlando Bar Crawl for Pulse included Blake's, Joe's on Juniper, Ten and Burkhart's.

On Saturday, drag performers host a fundraiser and on Wednesday, Phoenix headlines a fundraiser at Ten.

Also in the wake of the attack, the Atlanta Gay Men's Chorus dedicated its upcoming performances for “The Story of U.S.,” to the victims. As part of the tribute, the chorus is waiving all ticket prices and offering free admission. Instead, it's asking attendees to make a donation that will be turned over to an Equality Florida fund for the victims. The concerts are scheduled for June 24-25.

On July 11, Woof's will host a benefit for the victims, Woof's Stands with Orlando.

[h/t Georgia Pol]


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