After welcoming the 70+ people gathered in front of the UUFCM, the following message was shared:
“Young queers, you who are just daring to come out, who are now wondering if it might not be a better choice to lie and to hide: Please, do come on out. There is no safety in the closet and we need your true self and your gifts to help us all.
Muslims, you who are in the midst of Ramadan, who love your faith and embrace its compassionate practice, who are now witnessing this sacred identity being defined as terrorism by U.S. media once again: Please know not all viewers buy those lies. We know that your faith is a gift to our world. We need more compassion and love in our world.
We are grateful for your practice; please keep practicing!
Latinx queers, you who are celebrating unique pride and power as you dance deep into the night: Please keep dancing. The beat of that music brings life to us all.
Men who dared to kiss each other in public, who now wonder if it was your kiss that, according to the killer’s father, upset him so much he wanted to kill people: Please keep kissing. Your kisses for each other are a wonder in this world where men are forbidden to be vulnerable and instead offered guns.
All of us who are struggling to hold onto our humanity in the face of this latest atrocity: Please let the tears come. Don’t listen to the pundits who are peddling fear. Struggle to find the witnesses of love and resilience and honor their stories.
Let us refuse to allow any gunman to assassinate our own humanity. Let us refuse to divide our own hearts, according some people “us” status and labeling others as “them” Let us peer deep within this mess of terror and healing and choose life, and choose love, over and over.”
~ Meg Riley, UUA Church of the Larger Fellowship
Candles were then lit and the list of Orlando victims was read – silence held between each name.
• Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34.
• Stanley Almodovar III, 23.
• Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20.
• Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22.
• Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36.
• Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22.
• Luis S. Vielma, 22.
• Kimberly Morris, 37.
• Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30.
• Darryl Roman Burt II, 29.
• Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32.
• Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21.
• Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25.
• Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35.
• Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50.
• Amanda Alvear, 25.
• Martin Benitez Torres, 33.
• Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37.
• Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26.
• Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35.
• Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25.
• Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31.
• Oscar A. Aracena-Montero, 26.
• Enrique L. Rios Jr., 25.
• Miguel Angel Honorato, 30.
• Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40.
• Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32.
• Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19.
• Cory James Connell, 21.
• Luis Daniel Conde, 39.
• Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33.
• Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25.
• Jerald Arthur Wright, 31.
• Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25.
• Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25.
• Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24.
• Jean C. Nives Rodriguez, 27.
• Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33.
• Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49.
• Yilmary Rodriguez Sulivan, 24.
• Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32.
• Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28.
• Frank Hernandez, 27.
• Paul Terrell Henry, 41.
• Antonio Davon Brown, 29.
• Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24.
• Akyra Monet Murray, 18.
• Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, 25.
Vigil ended with the singing together of “We Shall Overcome.”