As the news unfolds about the very many victims of the murderous attack at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, our care and thoughts are with them and their families and friends. It is impossible for us to imagine the horror of the attack, or the devastation to lives it has and will continue to cause.
Whatever may emerge about any connection between the killer and organised terrorism, it is clear that a large part of the motive for this attack was homophobic hate. LGBTI people around the world face the reality of crimes of hatred, from verbal abuse through to murderous violence. This attack is a terrible reminder of that reality and makes us all feel a little less safe today.
As we have seen too often, when people come together as a community, whether in a club, or a place of education or worship or elsewhere, one person filled with hatred and with powerful weapons can cause devastation. But communities are what matter, and we trust that this attack will only strengthen the resolve of the diverse communities of Orlando and elsewhere to work together to end prejudice and hate.
There have been vigils marking the Orlando attack, in George Square, Glasgow at 5.30pm on Monday 13th June:
at the Stove in Dumfries at 6pm on Monday 13th June:
in Cheerz Bar in Aberdeen at 7pm on Monday 13th June,
in City Square in Dundee at 7pm on Tuesday 14th June:
There will be vigils in St Andrew Square, Edinburgh at 7pm on Wednesday 15th June:
in Stirling at 8pm on Thursday 16th June:
by Inverness Castle in Inverness at 8pm on Friday 17th June:
LGBT organisation Equality Florida has set up a fund to assist the victims of the attack, to which donations may be made here: