Statement of California Democratic Party Chairman John Burton on the Mass Shooting of LGBT Americans in Orlando

There’s an awful irony in the murders of 49 people in Orlando during LGBT Pride Month. Gay pride events started in my hometown San Francisco in June 1970 to protest the persecution of gay and transgender Americans who dared to live out in the open, and have happened every year since.

LGBT Americans and their allies created anti-discrimination laws to prevent harassment and last year pushed the Supreme Court to recognize marriage equality. The freedom to love who you want is on the march, despite what some anti-gay politicians would have you believe.

I’ve got a radical idea: for once Americans should have an honest debate about the enemies our nation faces. I would nominate for that list the NRA’s virtual veto in Congress on any common sense gun safety laws to take weapons out of the hands of would-be killers, and politicians whose toxic rhetoric is dividing America.

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