Maui Vigil Honors Orlando Shooting Victims

June 13, 2016, 2:52 PM HST · Updated June 13, 3:18 PM
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Gay rights. File photo by Wendy Osher.

Gay rights. File photo by Wendy Osher.

The Maui Pride organization announced plans for a vigil tonight, Monday, June 13, 2016, to remember the lives lost during a deadly shooting at an Orlando night club over the weekend. Organizers say the Maui event offers the public an opportunity to stand in solidarity with the community.

Tonight’s event begins at 5:30 p.m. on the beach in front of the Maui Sunseeker LGBT Resort, located at 551 South Kīhei Road.

Maui Pride’s Board of Directors will be joined by public officials including representative Kaniela Ing to show sympathies to the victims, their families and friends, and to LGBTQ brothers and sisters in Orlando and around the world.

“The attack on the patrons of Pulse nightclub was an act of terror and hate,” leaders of the Maui Pride organization said.  “It is heartbreaking for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community; however, the tragedy in Orlando is not only an attack against the LGBTQ+ community, it is an attack on all of our civil rights.”

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“We must remain strong in the face of such hatred as we honor those who lost their lives in Orlando – and those still fighting for their lives. We the gay and straight community must stand side by side as we continue the quest for full and equal rights for everyone. We are shocked but will not be broken by this attack. Together, we must continue on in the memory of those who lost their lives for simply expressing their true selves,” a statement from Maui Pride said.

Organization leaders are urging the public to join the LGBTQ+ community at Monday night’s vigil as they “stand in solidarity against the hate expressed in Orlando.” Group leaders said, “We must work together with our straight allies to make this a safe and accepting world for all people.”

Flowers to be Floated in Memory of Lives Lost

Maui Pride’s Board of Directors encourages participants to bring flowers to honor victims of what they called a “horrific massacre.”

Following opening remarks from the Board, Kahu Kawika will share a Hawaiian tribute. Additional blessings will be presented by Reverend Roxanne Whitelight.

A representative from the Mayor’s Office will speak, followed by words from Representative Kaniela Ing and Senator Roz Baker.

One of Maui’s tween-age transgender boys will be in attendance, sharing a poem he wrote on behalf of the LGBTQ Youth. Maui AIDS Foundation will also share words to honor those who lost their lives in this weekend’s tragic event.

Following the speakers, participants will float flowers on the water in memory of each of the 50 precious humans who lost their lives. The vigil will close with Deborah Vial leading the group with a version of Amazing Grace.

“Please join us for this very special tribute as we show the world that Love can Conquer Hate,” said event organizers.

Parking:

Organizers ask that those in attendance carpool and park along South Kīhei Road as parking is limited.  The public can park along South Kīhei Road or Kaonoulu Street.

The Maui Lu will also open gates for to park on their property. If parking on or traversing across the Maui Lu property, you do so at your own risk as it is an active construction site. Maui Lu advises that it cannot be liable for any injuries. Be prepared to sign a quick waiver of liability if you park on their property.

Hawaiʻi Flag Lowered in Remembrance of Orlando Shooting Victims

The Hawaiʻi state flag has also been lowered at all state facilities in honor of the victims of the deadly attack in Orlando, Florida.

Governor David Ige called the incident “another horrific instance of man’s inhumanity to man, triggered by the fear of differences.”

“Hawaiʻi has some of the toughest laws regulating gun ownership in the nation. This presumed act of terror is a reminder that we cannot become complacent. We must do all that we can to ensure the public’s safety,” said Ige.

Flags will remain at half staff until sunset on June 16th.

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