Florida Governor Rick Scott didn’t forget to talk about the Pulse massacre in his annual State of the State address .
But he’s being criticized for not mentioning that most of the victims were members of the LGBTI community.
The Republican lawmaker spoke about the worst mass shooting in US history more in terms of being a terrorist attack rather than a hate crime and LGBTI groups noticed.
‘While we are glad the governor spotlighted the Pulse tragedy, we are deeply disappointed that when talking about the worst anti-LGBTQ attack in our nation’s history, our governor failed to acknowledge the LGBTQ community in any way,’ Equality Florida public policy director Hannah Willard said in a statement.
‘Governor Scott spoke about the horror our state experienced in the wake of the attack, the heroism of Orlando’s first responders, and the pain of families who lost loved ones. What we didn’t hear was any mention of the LGBTQ community targeted in this murderous rampage, which occurred on Latin night.’
Last June, a gunman shot 49 people to death inside the gay nightclub Pulse. Another 53 people were wounded.
The gunman, Omar Mateen, was killed by police at the end of the three hour ordeal. In an emergency call shortly after he opened fire, Mateen swore allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the so-called Islamic State.
‘Nothing could have prepared me for the horror we saw on June 12, 2016 when a terrorist inspired by ISIS stormed into Pulse and senselessly killed 49 innocent people,’ Scott said in his address.
‘This was a terrorist attack and 49 brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, friends and spouses were murdered.’
While he did not say the word ‘gay’ once, the governor did speak of his time spent with the families of gay people.
‘I met with an injured victim whose TV was turned off in his hospital room. His family needed to wait to tell him that his partner had been killed and did not want him to find out from the news,’ he said.
Scott mentioned in his speech that he has recommended nearly $6 million in the state budget to go towards counterterrorism efforts.
Willard has another idea.
‘We urge Governor Scott and the Florida Legislature to honor those killed in Orlando with action by ensuring that LGBTQ Floridians are treated fairly and equally under the laws of our state.’