Activists gather at State Capitol for Pulse shooting anniversary vigil

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAPITOL NEWS SERVICE) - On the third anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting, a coalition of religious groups, LGBTQ activists, and gun control supporters held a vigil at the State Capitol.

A coalition of religious groups, LGBTQ activists, and gun control supporters held a vigil at the State Capitol on Wednesday. (MGN)

Many of the 49 who were killed in the shooting were members of the LGBTQ community.

Activist highlighted the ongoing need for more protections for LGBTQ individuals, especially since the group is a common target for hate crimes. In 2018, there were 26 transgender people murdered in the United States. Five of those cases were in Florida.

Gina Duncan, Director of Transgender Equality at Transaction Florida, says in the years since Pulse, the transgender community has suffered a number of defeats on the federal level, from military service to health care protections.

“We honor the 49 with action. Together let us commit that we will not go back, we will not retreat into the closet, and we will not live in the shadows. We commit that we will fight. We will fight with every breath in our bodies for the right to choose, for the right to exist without fear of violence," Duncan said.

Since the start of 2019, there have been at least six documented murders of transgender people in the U.S.