“It is MCC’s calling to be the leading voice of love over hate, particularly at critical points in history. MCC preaches God’s message to celebrate diversity across cultures and ethnicities. As the victims of the Pulse shooting are remembered, we commit to acts of compassion and justice. We strive to resist structures that oppress people and speak boldly on behalf of those in the margins,” said Rev. Elder Rachelle Brown, MCC Global Interim Moderator. “I commend each clergyperson, each individual, who pauses on the first anniversary of Pulse so that our community can respond in prayer and with hope to influence our future.”
PULSE Memorial Background
June 12, 2016, the sanctuary of Pulse, a popular gay bar in Orlando, Florida, USA, was shattered when a gunman came in near 2:00 am and started shooting, killing 49 people and wounding 53 others. It was the deadliest incident of violence against LGBTQ+ people in U.S. history, surpassing the fire at the Upstairs Lounge in 1973 that killed 32 people.
In addition to being a bar that catered to the LGBTQ+ community, Saturday night at Pulse was Latin night, with a variety of different kinds of Latin dance music played and attracting Latinx queer and straight people from across the region. This shooting was an attack clearly targeting LGBTQ+ people of color. It was an event that rocked the entire world as the effects of hate and violence evoked responses of shock and disbelief, then turning to actions of compassion and solidarity.
Founded in 1968, Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC) has been at the vanguard of civil and human rights movements by addressing issues of race, gender, sexual orientation, economics, climate change, aging, and global human rights. MCC was the first to perform same gender marriages and has been on the forefront of the struggle towards marriage equality in the USA and other countries worldwide. MCC recognizes a state of need around the world in the areas of human rights and justice. As people of faith, MCC endeavors to build bridges that liberate and unite voices of sacred defiance. MCC leads from the margins and transforms.