Reading, PA – The LGBT Center of Greater Reading is holding a candlelight vigil to honor and remember the victims of a mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs this past weekend. A gunman killed five people and injured 25 others.
“The LGBT community continues to be a target of bigotry, discrimination, hatred, and violence. We recognize that Saturday night’s horror was not an isolated incident, but an alarming pattern of growing anti-LGBTQ violence and rhetoric. Hate crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity remain a frequent nightmare,” said Michelle Dech, Executive Director of the LGBT Center of Greater Reading.
Dech also stressed the importance of bi-partisan legislation to boldly address violent hate crimes that have plagued the LGBT Community for years. “While we had made some small advances, thoughts, and prayers are no longer enough,” she added. “We need to turn anger into action. We should not have to create safe spaces for the LGBT community. All spaces should be safe spaces.”
The vigil begins at 5:45 pm on Tuesday, November 29. Participants will meet in the LGBT Center parking lot, located at Calvary UCC 640 Centre St., Reading, PA.
We are honored to welcome the family of Derrick Rump, one of the 5 individuals killed recently at ClubQ, to our vigil later this evening. In addition, we will have Mayor Eddie Moran, Senator Judy Schwank, and others that will address those in attendance.
We plan to gather in the parking lot at the LGBT Center, located (640 Centre Ave) at the rear of the church. You may enter the lot off Oley Street behind the church and follow the driveway as it opens to a larger lot below.
Once assembled, we will begin a short walk by candlelight at 6pm. We will walk up Centre Ave, cross the street and come back down on the Centre Park side. We will pause at Centre Park, in front of the illuminated tree, where singers from the Yocum Institute for Arts Education will perform the song called “In Color” by Ilene Angel & Tanya Leah. It is from a recent production called “Stay Alive. Make Art.”
Upon its conclusion, we will walk back to the sanctuary of the Calvary UCC church where the vigil will take place by candlelight.
Upon its conclusion, all are invited to join us in the dining hall for refreshments and/or to visit the Center to view the two panels of the AIDS Memorial Quilt and other exhibits that are currently on display to commemorate World AIDS Day.