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Michigan Vigils Honor Orlando Victims

Jun 14, 2016

Ella Marx cries at a candelight vigil in Ann Arbor for the victims of the Orlando nightclub shootings. She says her LGBT sister lives in Florida. “It’s really close to home for me,” she says.
Credit Rick Pluta / MPRN

Vigils around Michigan last night marked the mass shootings at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. 

There was a candlelight vigil at the state Capitol.  And people gathered at a courtyard in Ann Arbor that hosted a celebration almost a year ago after the US Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage.  Rosalee Wright says she’s the mother of a gay son.  She wants to see stricter gun laws. 


“We have got to change laws that will make it much for difficult to get a gun that sounded like the beat of a song in a night spot because it was such a fast and furious fuselage.” 

There are 48 bills before the Michigan Legislature dealing with guns.  Stephanie White is the executive director of Equality Michigan.  She says it’s also time for the Michigan Legislature to add LGBT protections to the state’s civil rights law


“It says we’re not second-class citizens, and as long as we still are second-class citizens, unfortunately, there are a lot of people who are sad and unstable who will take that to violent ends.”   

The effort to add LGBT protections to the civil rights law is stalled in the Michigan Legislature, along with a bill to enact a Michigan Religious Freedom Restoration Act

Governor Rick Snyder has ordered flags at state buildings to be flown at half-staff to remember the victims of the Orlando shootings.

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— Rick Pluta is the Managing Editor and Reporter for the Michigan Public Radio network.  Contact WEMU News at 734.487.3363 or email us at studio@wemu.org