Posts Tagged As: Orlando FL

Clinton Pays Private Visit With Pulse Families, Pays Respects To Victims

Jim Burroway

July 23rd, 2016

hillary_pulsex750Hillary Clinton was in Orlando yesterday where she met privately with families and friends of the Pulse gay night club massacre. The meeting occurred just before a larger roundtable meeting with city leaders and representatives from the LGBT and religious communities. According to the Washington Post:

“I’m really here to listen to what your experiences have been,” Clinton said during the meeting.

She noted that the attack on the gay club highlights the dangers that LGBT people in America face, including higher risk for hate crimes.

“We need to acknowledge and be very clear who this attack targeted,” Clinton said. “The Latino LGBT community by any measure was the community that was the most severely impacted by this terrible attack.”

“It is still dangerous to be LGBT in America,” Clinton added. “It is an unfortunate fact but one that needs to be said.”

The Post reported that Patty Sheehan, an Orlando city commissioner who is also a lesbian, thanked Clinton “for not politicizing it and for waiting until we were ready.” According to WESH TV, a mother and a survivor echoed that appreciation:

She never wanted to use me or my son for her political gain,” said Christine Leinonen whose son was killed in the June shooting.

“She just allowed us to tell our story and I thought that was really powerful and impactful,” said Brandon Wolf, a survivor.

During the private meeting, Sheehan warned against blaming the Muslim community for the gunman’s actions:

“Hating a Muslim person is the same as hating a gay person,” Sheehan said, growing emotional. “We cannot allow this country to become a country of hatred and division.”

“We have got to stop this kind of rhetoric. We are better together,” she added.

The Orlando Sentinel reported about the later roundtable meeting with community leaders:

…Clinton pledged to “promote the kinds of changes that will prevent this from happening to other people, other families and other communities.”

“We have to be willing to stand as one and demand changes from lawmakers at the federal, state and local level … We have a lot of work ahead of us,” said Clinton…

(Orlando Mayor Buddy) Dyer, who led the meeting alongside Clinton, said he would not wade into policy but called for unity and inclusiveness.

“We need to better understand how we come together, that we are stronger when we appreciate the similarities that we have and don’t focus on the differences,” Dyer said.

After the roundtable meeting, Clinton made an unannounced visit to an impromptu memorial outside the shuttered night club:

FBI: “No Evidence” Orlando Shooter Was Gay Or Used Gay Hookup Apps

Jim Burroway

June 23rd, 2016

Omar MateenThere has been widespread speculation about whether Omar Mateen, the man who killed 49 and injured more than 50 others at the Pulse gay night club in Orlando, might have been gay. The FBI has been investigating that possibility, and today says they cannot find any evidence that Mateen was leading “a secret gay life”:

Federal investigators have scoured Omar Mateen’s laptop computer, cell phone and the trail of communications he left behind and so far have found no evidence that he led a secret gay life, according to officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity about the ongoing investigation.

They’ve also reviewed the electronic devices of men who said they’d communicated with him on gay dating apps and so far have found no link.

…Investigators have not stopped following leads about Mateen’s reported interest in gay clubs and gay men, but federal officials reported Thursday that they’ve found no photographs, text messages, smart phone apps or gay pornography that suggest Mateen was gay or was trying to find a gay lover.

Several men have come forward claiming to have chatted with Mateen on gay dating apps. But:

Federal investigators, however, believe men making such claims may be confusing Mateen with someone else or are not credible, the officials said.

As for the man who, in a Univision interview, claimed to have been a regular “friend with benefits” with Mateen:

“We are not at liberty to confirm or deny specific interviews, nor the credibility of content … due to the ongoing investigation,” she wrote in an email.

Federal officials in Washington, however, said they do not believe that man’s claims are credible.

Pulse Owner To Resume “Latin Night” Tonight

Jim Burroway

June 23rd, 2016

The owners of Pulse, the gay night club whose Latin Night party was attacked by Omar Mateen on June 12, will hold a fundraising event, described as “half party, half memorial” tonight. This will be Pulse’s first event after the massacre. Since the club is still a crime scene (that’s due to come to an end soon), the event will be held in the Thornton Park neighborhood.

“It will be Latin night, Washington Street will be closed, Pulse entertainers will be dancing, drag queens… the whole megillah,” said Sara Brady, spokeswoman.

Brady said city officials, including Mayor Buddy Dyer and Commissioner Patty Sheehan, have been invited.

Barbara Poma’s husband, Rosario Poma, owns numerous businesses in the area. One of them, Wildside B-B-Q Bar & Grill, 700 E. Washington St., will be the focal point for Thursday’s celebration. Across Washington Street, the Veranda event space will also participate, Brady said.

Pulse owner Barbara Poma told NPR that her commitment is to keep Pulse alive, and the party will help do that. The funds raised  will benefit employees, who have been out of work since the shooting and will likely remain without a paycheck for months to come before the nightclub can re-open. Roma said that a memorial will be a part of Pulse’s rebuilding project.

Updated: FBI Releases Partial Transcript Of Orlando Shooter’s 911 Call

Jim Burroway

June 20th, 2016

Update: The FBI released an unredacted version of Omar Mateen’s first 911 call. See below.

Pulse gay night clubPolitico explains the redacting:

The partial transcript is redacted to remove portions of Mateen’s pledges of allegiance to the Islamic State, a move intended to minimize the value of the calls as propaganda for the militant group. The FBI also did not release audio of the calls, which U.S. Attorney Lee Bentley said was meant to avoid “revictimizing” those who were inside the nightclub.

…“Part of the redacting is meant to not give credence to individuals who have done terrorist acts in the past,” FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Ron Hopper said at a news conference. “We’re not going to propagate their rhetoric, their violent rhetoric, and we see no value in putting those individuals’ names back out there. We’re trying to prevent future acts from happening again and for cowards like this one, people like that influence them.” Hopper confirmed that there is no indication that Mateen received direction for his attack from the Islamic State or any other terrorist group.

Several Republicans and Fox News are predictably furious over the redactions, although they hardly left much to the imagination. The FBI confirms that Omar Mateen made three calls to 911 while gunning down LGBT patrons at the Pulse night club in Orlando.

Here is the FBI release:

ORLANDO—In order to provide an update on the progress of the investigation into the Pulse nightclub shooting, the FBI is releasing an excerpt from the timeline of events inside the Pulse nightclub during the early morning hours of Sunday, June 12, 2016. Out of respect for the victims of this horrific tragedy, law enforcement will not be releasing audio of the shooter’s 911 calls at this time, nor will law enforcement be releasing audio or transcripts of the calls made by victims at the Pulse nightclub during the incident. Furthermore, the name of the shooter and that of the person/group to whom he pledged allegiance are omitted.

The following is based on Orlando Police Department (OPD) radio communication (times are approximate):

2:02 a.m.: OPD call transmitted multiple shots fired at Pulse nightclub.
2:04a.m.: Additional OPD officers arrived on scene.
2:08 a.m.: Officers from various law enforcement agencies made entrance to Pulse and engaged the shooter.
2:18 a.m.: OPD S.W.A.T. (Special Weapons & Tactics) initiated a full call-out.
2:35 a.m.: Shooter contacted a 911 operator from inside Pulse. The call lasted approximately 50 seconds, the details of which are set out below:

Orlando Police Dispatcher (OD)
Shooter (OM)

OD: Emergency 911, this is being recorded.

OM: In the name of God the Merciful, the beneficial [in Arabic]

OD: What?

OM: Praise be to God, and prayers as well as peace be upon the prophet of God [in Arabic]. I let you know, I’m in Orlando and I did the shootings.

OD: What’s your name?

OM: My name is I pledge of allegiance to [omitted].

OD: Ok, What’s your name?

OM: I pledge allegiance to [omitted] may God protect him [in Arabic], on behalf of [omitted].

OD: Alright, where are you at?

OM: In Orlando.

OD: Where in Orlando?

[End of call.]

(Shortly thereafter, the shooter engaged in three conversations with OPD’s Crisis Negotiation Team.)

2:48 a.m.: First crisis negotiation call occurred lasting approximately nine minutes.

3:03 a.m.: Second crisis negotiation call occurred lasting approximately 16 minutes.

3:24 a.m.: Third crisis negotiation call occurred lasting approximately three minutes.

In these calls, the shooter, who identified himself as an Islamic soldier, told the crisis negotiator that he was the person who pledged his allegiance to [omitted], and told the negotiator to tell America to stop bombing Syria and Iraq and that is why he was “out here right now.” When the crisis negotiator asked the shooter what he had done, the shooter stated, “No, you already know what I did.” The shooter continued, stating, “There is some vehicle outside that has some bombs, just to let you know. You people are gonna get it, and I’m gonna ignite it if they try to do anything stupid.” Later in the call with the crisis negotiator, the shooter stated that he had a vest, and further described it as the kind they “used in France.” The shooter later stated, “In the next few days, you’re going to see more of this type of action going on.” The shooter hung up and multiple attempts to get in touch with him were unsuccessful.

4:21 a.m.: OPD pulled an air conditioning unit out of a Pulse dressing room window for victims to evacuate.

(While the FBI will not be releasing transcripts of OPD communication with victims, significant information obtained from those victims allowed OPD to gain knowledge of the situation inside Pulse.)

4:29 a.m.: As victims were being rescued, they told OPD the shooter said he was going to put four vests with bombs on victims within 15 minutes.

(An immediate search of the shooter’s vehicle on scene and inside Pulse ultimately revealed no vest or improvised explosive device.)

5:02 a.m.: OPD SWAT and OCSO Hazardous Device Team began to breach wall with explosive charge and armored vehicle to make entry.

5:14 a.m.: OPD radio communication stated that shots were fired.

5:15 a.m.: OPD radio communication stated that OPD engaged the suspect and the suspect was reported down.

Update: After severe criticism from House Speaker He-Who-Cannot-Say-Our-Name (R-WI) and other conservatives, the FBI and Justice Department have decided to reverse course and issue an unreacted transcript of Omar Mateen’s first 911 call. Here is the full statement announcing that reversal. I’ve italicized the portion that was originally redacted.

Joint Statement From Justice Department and FBI Regarding Transcript Related to the Orlando Terror Attack

The Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) issued the following statement regarding the FBI’s release of the transcript related to the Orlando shooting:

“The purpose of releasing the partial transcript of the shooter’s interaction with 911 operators was to provide transparency, while remaining sensitive to the interests of the surviving victims, their families, and the integrity of the ongoing investigation.  We also did not want to provide the killer or terrorist organizations with a publicity platform for hateful propaganda.  Unfortunately, the unreleased portions of the transcript that named the terrorist organizations and leaders have caused an unnecessary distraction from the hard work that the FBI and our law enforcement partners have been doing to investigate this heinous crime.  As much of this information had been previously reported, we have re-issued the complete transcript to include these references in order to provide the highest level of transparency possible under the circumstances.”

Transcript of Orlando Police Department 911 Calls, June 12, 2016

2:35 a.m.: Shooter contacted a 911 operator from inside Pulse.  The call lasted approximately 50 seconds, the details of which are set out below:

(OD)   Orlando Police Dispatcher

(OM)   Omar Mateen

OD:     Emergency 911, this is being recorded.

OM:     In the name of God the Merciful, the beneficent [Arabic]

OD:     What?

OM:     Praise be to God, and prayers as well as peace be upon the prophet of God [Arabic]. I wanna let you know, I’m in Orlando and I did the shootings.

OD:     What’s your name?

OM:     My name is I pledge of allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi of the Islamic State.

OD:     Ok, What’s your name?

OM:     I pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi may God protect him [Arabic], on behalf of the Islamic State.

OD:     Alright, where are you at?

OM:     In Orlando.

OD:     Where in Orlando?

[End of call.]

GOP Edits the LGBT Out of Its Orlando Statement

Jim Burroway

June 17th, 2016

Rebecca Ruiz at Mashable noticed something odd about the Republican National Committee’s statement about Orlando: a sentence is missing. when the statement was first released on Sunday, it contained an rather awkward sentence that nevertheless acknowledge the attack against the LGBT community. “Violence against any group of people simply for their lifestyle or orientation has no place in America or anywhere else,” it said. Clumsy, sure. A lot of people gagged on the “lifestyle” reference. But at least it was some kind of an acknowledgement, even if it sounded like it was written by Aunt Betty.

But by Monday, the statement was updated with no explanation, and that update obliterates all acknowledgment, klutzy or otherwise, of the attack on the LGBT community.  An RNC Spokesman said the revision was meant to be “more inclusive.” Log Cabin Republican president Gregory T. Angelo wasn’t having it.

“Scrubbing an early draft of their press release for any specific mention of gay people or sexual orientation is indicative of the cowardice a lot of Republicans exhibited in the aftermath of the shootings,” Angelo told Mashable. 

This is mart of a larger pattern among several Republicans and social conservatives who have refused to mention exactly who was attacked. It’s as if the shooter had attacked a shopping mall or a Denny’s. As Ruiz notes:

The RNC’s decision to remove the sentence from its statement highlights the party’s challenges as it tries to embrace the victims and show solidarity with the LGBT community without alienating Republican voters who often describe so-called identity politics as divisive.

President Barack Obama’s Remarks In Orlando

Jim Burroway

June 16th, 2016

Click here to read the transcript

Pulse Night Club Will Reopen: “We’re Not Going To Let Someone Take This Away From Us”

Jim Burroway

June 16th, 2016

Barbara Poma, owner of Pulse, appeared on NBC’s The Today Show this morning to speak for the first time about what happened early Sunday morning. She described the club as “a safe, fun place to come be who you are.” And she described that phone call she got that morning:

It was the most surreal phone call I’ve ever received. When my manager called me and told me, and he was just yelling into the phone. He kept saying, “We have a shooter! We have a shooter!” I just kept screaming, “What?” And finally it sunk in and… you can’t wrap your brain around that. You can’t.

… I can’t stop imagining what that was like for them… I don’t think I’ll ever stop that.

She opened Pulse about thirteen years ago in honor of her brother, who had died of AIDS. She chose to name the club Pulse “because it has to do with your heartbeat. It has to do with your life, and we just wanted to keep the heartbeat alive.”

Lauer asked how her mission would change as she goes from honoring one person to now honoring 49:

We just welcome those families into our family. And we just have to move forward and find a way to keep their hearts beating and keep our spirit alive. And we’re not going to let someone take this away from us. …I have to go back to that club.

After the interview, Matt Lauer added that she told him, “It’s important never to let hate win.”

UPDATED: SBC Can’t Say Our Name, But This Pastor Can

Jim Burroway

June 15th, 2016

The video is not embeddable, but this rather interesting TV media monitoring service has it along with a transcript. Yesterday evening, during a vigil held at Orlando’s First Baptist Church, Pastor Joel C. Hunter of the unaffiliated evangelical Northland Church in suburban Longwood, invited The Task Force’s National Campaigns Director  Victoria Kirby York to teach the Baptist gathering about how to pray for the particular needs of LGBT people in Orlando:

Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 10.32.37 AMPastor Hunter: When they asked me to pray for the LGBTQ community, at first I was honored and thrilled, and then I was convicted. I‘m not sure how to do that. I‘ve never been a part of a vulnerable community. I‘ve been a part of powerful communities all my life and never been a part of a persecuted community. Short doesn’t count. 

When we lose someone, we have two feelings immediately. One is we wish we’d is have built a better relationship. And the other is — and I’ve been searching my heart — is there anything I did that was complicit in that loss? I‘m going to continue searching. But i will not presume to know what this community is going through, the LGBTQ community. And so i asked Equality Florida to send someone. And my new friend, Victoria Kirby York, who is the national director of campaigns for the National LGBTQ Task Force — I‘m going to keep saying those initials often enough that they roll off my tongue. I asked her to come and just share maybe with many of us who would not know what to pray for in that community right now. What to consider that we might not you understand. Victoria, could you help us? 

Victoria Kirby York: Good evening, beloved community. Thank you so much for being here, for standing in the gap for so many of our community members. Some of you who are here, so many who aren’t here, those who are watching and those who wish they could be here. I grew up about 50 minutes away from here in a town called Brandon, Florida, and lived here until recently and have a lot of friends across central Florida. Many who frequent Pulse nightclub. Many who lost friends Sunday. And as I heard about the news, like many of you, I was heartbroken. I wanted to search out ways in which i could come back home to Florida and get engaged, see what I could do to provide any kind of healing that I could do. And I can tell you that standing up here right now looking at all of you is such a beautiful sight. I‘m going to talk to you a little bit about why it matters so much to the LGBTQ community that each and every one of you are here in a church. 

..As the national campaign director of a national LGBTQ organization, I look into the faces of so many people who have been kicked out and rejected by their churches. 13-year-olds who are forced to live on the street because they’ve been kicked out of their homes. 35% of homeless youth in this country are LGBTQ youth, even though we represent less than 5% of the population. and many of those young people have been kicked out because they have family members, parents specifically, who have not accepted who they are and who they love. We also look at the suicide rates amongst LGBTQ people, particularly youth. Again, over a third of suicides, one of the leading causes of death, sadly, for far too many young people come from the LGBTQ community. Again, less than 5% of the population. So death has been a reality that we experience for those who have attempted to take their lives, for the dozens of transgender women particularly of color who have lost heir lives due to hate crimes over the last couple of years and before. 

And so when we look at that question how we can make good come out of this moment, my charge to you all for this prayer is for grace, for graceful conversations with each other and for each other. To come into those conversations on both sides from a place of wanting to understand, wanting to heal, wanting to emphasize. Because our community for far too many years have never witnessed a sight like this, a church where they can come, be prayed over and not be forced to change who they are, or who they love.  For some people this image that I‘m staring at right now exists only in their dreams.

Update: Christianity Today has more about Joel Hunter:

The senior pastor of Northland Church, a 20,000 member, nondenominational church, admitted that “institutional forms of white Christianity” have been complicit in the denigration of LGBT communities, but expressed hope for “the next generation” of Christians.

Speaking in the aftermath of the massacre at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Hunter told RNS that he had “to go back and examine my own heart, starting tonight in services.

“I’ve got to confess to my congregation that if there’s anything I’ve said that could have ever led to anything — the dismissal or denigration of any other population — God, I am so sorry for that.”

He admitted that “many of us, especially those in the conservative evangelical branch of the faith, don’t normally think of the vulnerability of many of the communities around us…but this has put it on the agenda.

Hunter says he’s not quite ready to change some of his theological positions as a “matter of hermeneutical integrity”, he admitted “there’s much of scripture that can come up to a greater visibility when it comes to treating people who don’t interpret scripture like you do or who may not believe in scripture at all.” Which is pretty much how all movement among religious people start.

Anderson Cooper Gets Emotional While Paying Tribute To Orlando Victims

Jim Burroway

June 14th, 2016

Mateen’s Wife Tried To Talk Him Out Of Attacking Pulse

Jim Burroway

June 14th, 2016

NBC has just broken this story:

Omar Mateen’s current wife, Noor, told the FBI she was with him when he bought ammunition and a holster, several officials familiar with the case said. She told the FBI that she once drove him to the gay nightclub, Pulse, because he wanted to scope it out.

Noor is cooperating with investigators. She may face charges for failing to notify authorities about what she knew before the attack.

More Reports: Orlando Shooter Used To Hang Out At Gay Clubs

Jim Burroway

June 13th, 2016

Omar MateenAdding to what the Orlando Sentinel published earlier, we now have this report from the Canadian Press:

A drag-dancing married couple described seeing Mateen as many as a dozen times at the gay-friendly nightclub where he’d later embark on the single worst gun massacre in modern American history.

Ty Smith and Chris Callen recalled the eventual killer being escorted drunk from the Pulse bar on multiple occasions, including one incident where he pointed a knife at a friend.

Both professed shock at seeing his face on TV: “It’s the same guy,” said Callen, who performs under the name Kristina McLaughlin. “He’s been going to this bar for at least three years.”

They expressed incredulity at the story being told by Mateen’s father in the wake of the shooting, that the gunman had once been scandalized during a visit to Miami by the sight of men kissing each other.

They say Mateen saw plenty of men kiss — and far closer to home than Miami.

“That’s bullcrap, right there. No offence. That’s straight-up crap. He’s been around us,” Smith said Monday in an interview at the GLBT Community Center of Central Florida.

Smith and Callen also describe an incident that corroborates other stories of Mateen’s explosive temper:

They said they decided to keep their distance from Mateen after he exploded in anger at a joke told by one of their friends, possibly about religion: “He ended up pulling a knife,” Callen said.

“He said if he ever messed with him again, you know how it’ll turn out.”

Another witness a local television station another detail:

Kevin West said the shooter, 29-year-old Omar Mateen, contacted him three months ago through a dating app called Jack’d.

“When he first contacted me, he was saying things like, ‘What clubs are popping and things of that sort, what are good places to go?'” West said. “And I remember telling him, ‘Oh, you can just look it up online because I don’t go out that much.”

West told the station that he turned the communications over to the FBI.

This thread seems to be picking up steam. Chris Hayes tweeted this teaser:

Couple To Have Joint Funeral

Jim Burroway

June 13th, 2016

Remember this photo of Juan Ramon Guerrero and Drew Leinonen? When I posted this last night, Juan was confirmed dead, and his boyfriend Drew was missing. Since then, he too was confirmed dead. They had been together for two years and wanted to get married. Their families now say that instead of a wedding, they will be buried side by side.

“They were honestly so in love. They were soul mates. You can tell by how they looked at each other,” (said Juan’s sister). “It’s a little comforting that they died together.”

“If it’s not a funeral, they were going to have a wedding together,” she added.

Report: Mateen Cased Pulse Before the Attack

Jim Burroway

June 13th, 2016

The East Orlando Post reported that other gay bars in the Orlando area found that Omar Mateen had been using social media to gain information prior to Sunday’s attack at Pulse. Now the Orlando Sentinel said that he had been surveilling Pulse directly:

At least four regular customers at the gay Orlando nightclub where a gunman killed 49 people Sunday morning said today that they believe they had seen the killer, Omar Mateen, there before.

“Sometimes he would go over in the corner and sit and drink by himself, and other times he would get so drunk he was loud and belligerent,” said Ty Smith, who also uses the name Aries.

He saw Mateen at the club at least a dozen times, he told the Orlando Sentinel.

“We didn’t really talk to him a lot, but I remember him saying things about his dad at times,” Smith said. “He told us he had a wife and child.

Mateen’s Ex-Wife: “When He Was Angry, He Would Sometimes Rant About Homosexuals”

Jim Burroway

June 13th, 2016

Sitora Yusufiy, 27 and the ex-wife of Pulse night club shooter Omar Mateen, has come forward to described her two-year abusive marriage to Mateen. She said that when they first met on Myspace in 2008,  and married after a short engagement, ““He was a normal guy, joking, laughing, you know, like having fun.”

Mateen was religious but not radical. Born in New York, Mateen came from an Afghan family but was “Americanized,” Yusufiy said. Yusufiy, who now lives in Colorado, is Uzbekistani but had lived in the United States for nearly a decade before the marriage.

Yusufiy said Mateen desperately wanted to be a policeman and hung out with a lot of cops, often going to the shooting range with them.

But just a few weeks into the marriage, Yusufiy said, Mateen started showing another side, one of anger and control. She said Mateen made her get a job and then took the money she made.

“It was just his personal form on control. He wanted to control me and do whatever he [could] to keep me hostage,” she said.

When he was angry, he would sometimes rant about homosexuals, Yusufiy said.

“In those moments of emotional instability, he would express his anger towards [a] certain culture, homosexuality, because in Islamic culture, it is not really tolerated, homosexuality. And I know at the time he was trying to get his life straight and follow his faith,” she said.

One former co-worker at the Port St. Lucie security firm that employed Matteen confirmed to the New York Times Mateen’s bigotry and erratic behavior:

According to Mr. Gilroy, who said that he had repeatedly complained to G4S, the security company that employed them, Mr. Mateen was a loud, profane presence who was prone to using racial, ethnic and sexual slurs.

Mr. Gilroy, a former police officer in Fort Pierce, described Mr. Mateen as a man who had “issues and just constant anger.”

“He was just agitated about everything, always shaken, always agitated, always mad,” said Mr. Gilroy, who said his relationship with Mr. Mateen became increasingly tense, with Mr. Mateen badgering him with text messages 20 or 30 times a day.

According to the FBI, Mateen had, at various times, expressed admiration for Hezbollah, Al-Qaeda, and, just before the attack, ISIS. Observers note the confusing contradictions in those endorsements: all three groups are bitter enemies of each other. According to the Guardian:

The full extent of Mateen’s motivations may have been complex and less clear than immediately apparent, though. A knowledgeable US official told the Guardian that while the federal investigation was in the earliest stages, an initial hypothesis regarding the shooter’s motive leaned closer to a hate crime than an act of terrorism.

“The idea of it being terrorism is not off the table, but it’s probably not the principal approach,” said the official, who would not be identified by name or agency in discussing a fast-moving investigation. “There are other reasons to believe it was motivated toward a very specific kind of community, obviously.”

That investigation was still determining if the shooting was “terrorism or a massive, massive hate crime”, the official said. The official emphasized that all hypotheses were preliminary.

 

Report: Mateen Cased Other Orlando Gay Bars Before the Attack

Jim Burroway

June 13th, 2016

The East Orlando Post reports:

Micah Bass, owner of the recently opened Revere Nightclub and The M Hotel, informed the East Orlando Post that Mateen had sent him a friend request on Facebook late last week.

“With running The M and Revere, I constantly get requests from LGBT allies, performers, and potential guests who just want to have fun and spend time with family and friends.”

Earlier today, Bass notified the FBI of Mateen’s activity on social media and is reviewing security footage to see if the suspected shooter or any potential accomplices did, in fact, visit the property in the weeks leading up Sunday’s tragedy at Pulse.

…Veteran investigator and former Orlando law enforcement officer James Copenhaver observed that Mateen could have very well investigated several venues before selecting Pulse Nightclub to carry out what Florida Governor Rick Scott has called a “terrorist attack.”

“My training and experience suggest the shooter was scoping out LGBT clubs by friending club owners, club staff, and even customers of the LGBT clubs in the Orlando area on social media.”

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At last, the truth can now be told.

Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!

And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.

Testing The Premise: Are Gays A Threat To Our Children?

Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.

Straight From The Source: What the “Dutch Study” Really Says About Gay Couples

Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.

The FRC’s Briefs Are Showing

Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.

Daniel Fetty Doesn’t Count

Daniel FettyThe FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.