Chattanooga’s LGBTQ community is organizing a candlelight vigil Tuesday.
The event will honor of the lives lost in our community to hate, discrimination and suicide, and honor the victims of violence at the Orlando Nightclub Shooting on the second anniversary of that attack, according to a news release.
“The LGBTQ community has a touchstone event which feels like Sept. 11 does for most Americans,” vigil organizer Samantha Boucher said in a prepared statement. “The tragedy that changed our lives is the Pulse Nightclub attack…You are changed and never feel secure again.”
The vigil is slated to take place following Tuesday’s City Council meeting.
Local LGBTQ citizens and allies will gather outside the council building, 1000 Lindsay St., starting at 7 p.m. and the event will start at 7:30 p.m.
Speakers include Mayor Andy Berke and Chattanooga Police Chief David Roddy, Councilwoman Dr. Berz and Councilwoman Demetrus Coonrod.
After they speak, participants will read names and stories of local LGBTQ citizens who have been lost to hate, discrimination and suicide.
The names of all 49 victims of the Orlando Nightclub shooting will also be read and remembered.
Community members may submit a request to read names to be remembered by using the form on this website.
President of Tennessee Valley Pride Marcus Ellsworth said in a prepared statement:
Our community knows the pain of loss. We have seen lives taken, families broken, and dignity denied. But we also know how to persevere, stand together, and defend our innate right to live, love, and be loved. At times like this, we remember those we have lost to hatred. We also remember that we will keep fighting for our right to thrive in the name of love.
June is also Pride Month, which commemorates the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan, which vigil organizer Ginger Moss said launched the LGBTQ movement.
“Sadly, it also marks a tragedy for our community because of the 49 individuals shot down at the Pulse nightclub,” Moss also said in a prepared statement. “Until Chattanooga’s LGBTQ citizens have equality, we are vulnerable to such attacks.”