Merton Council pays tribute to Orlando shooting victims

Merton Council has paid tribute to the 50 victims of America’s deadliest mass shooting at the weekend.

Stepehn Alambritis Edith Macauley rainbow flag

Left, Edith Macauley, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Engagement and Equalities, and council Leader Stephen Alambritis with the council’s flag.

Gunman Omar Mateen killed 50 people and injured 53 more in a gay nightclub in Orlando early on Sunday morning, described as the deadliest mass shooting in recent American history.

Rainbow flag stephen edith

Council Leader Councillor Stephen Alambritis said: “We are all very deeply shocked by the events in Orlando, Florida. All our thoughts and all our prayers are with everyone in the community affected by this horrific shooting”.

Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Engagement and Equalities, Edith Macauley MBE said: “It is a terrible thing to happen.

“We stand shoulder to shoulder with the LGBT people in the United States and around the world at this awful time.”

Council rainbow flag half mast

Merton Council’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Plus (LGBT+) Forum meet every three months and provides a platform for LGBT+ people to engage with the council, schools, health care providers and other relevant agencies on matters that affect the LGBT+ community.

Secretary Patrick Lyster-Todd helped to organise the vigil in Soho on Monday June 13,  which saw large crowds gather in Old Compton Street, at the centre of the capital’s gay community.

There was a one minute silence at 7pm as a sign of respect, after which 49 balloons to signify one for each person killed, were released.

The Forum is open to LGBT+ people who live, work, or spend time in Merton with the aim to provide support, advice, signposting and improve dialogue between local communities.

It also aims to raise and increase community awareness of LGBT+ issues.