Wife Of Pulse Nightclub Shooter Arrested In Connection With Deadly Orlando Massacre

The wife of the Pulse nightclub shooter, Omar Mateen, has been arrested in connection with the June 2016 massacre in Orlando.

According to the New York Times, Noor Salman was taken into custody by FBI at her home outside San Francisco.

Authorities have been considering charges against Salman since the deadly shootout on June 12th that left 49 dead and 53 wounded. She has reportedly been charged with obstruction of justice.

Salman could appear in federal court in San Francisco as soon as Tuesday

The shooting was the deadliest act against the LGBT community in US history, and the deadliest terror attack in the US since September 11, 2001.

Broadway At DNC2016 “What The World Needs Now”

One of the highlights of yesterday’s Democratic National Convention coverage was seeing lots and lots of folks from Broadway stand center stage to sing “What the World Needs Now” to close a segment highlighting gun violence in America.

The song was recorded last month and shared via video in the aftermath of the Orlando Pulse Nightclub shooting which left 49 dead and dozens more seriously injured.

I’m so proud to call so many of these talented folks my friends 🙂

Check out the live performance from Philly featuring Idina Menzel, Audra McDonald, Darren Criss, Alice Ripley, Tyne Daly, Sharon Gless, Roz Ryan, Ben Vereen, Kristin Bell, Darren Criss, Stephanie J. Block, Adrienne Warren, Len Cariou, Richard Kind, Tom Wopat, Wilson Cruz, Michael Longoria, Rosie Perez, Ann Hampton Callaway, Liz Callaway, Nicholas Callaway Foster, Olga Merediz, Michelle Collins, Jon Viktor Corpuz, Mary Ann Hu, Anika Larsen, Margaret Stallings, Eve Plumb, Montego Glover, Michael Urie, Carmen Cusak, Darius de Haas, Melissa Errico, and Janet Metz.

JLo & Lin-Manuel Miranda Debut “Love Make The World Go Round” Tribute To Orlando Shooting Victims

Via Rolling Stone:

Jennifer Lopez and Hamilton star Lin-Manuel Miranda delivered the late-night debut of “Love Make the World Go Round,” their tribute to the victims of the Orlando massacre, on Tuesday’s Tonight Show.

Backed by the Roots and a pair of backing vocalists, Lopez crooned the track’s message of hope and resiliency while wearing a massive, multi-colored cape. Miranda emerged midway through the track for a nimbly-rapped verse.

“What we got is love even when the sinners hate us/ We cannot let them diminish or intimidate us/ We sing out, we got the rhythm and the true on our side/ We cut through the divide and we do it with pride,” Miranda rapped. “A generation of innovators enabled to patiently wait for change ’cause change is what they’ve been afraid of/ the malevolence can wait, raise a level of debate, celebrate, elevate.”

Lopez and Miranda released the track July 7th via iTunes.

All proceeds benefit the Hispanic Federation’s Proyecto Somos Orlando initiative, which aims to address the “long-term needs for mental health services that are culturally competent and bilingual.”

GLAAD & Interscope Records Release “Hands – A Song For Orlando”

Via press release:

GLAAD and Interscope Records today released “Hands,” a musical tribute to the victims of Orlando, featuring Mary J Blige, Jason Derulo, Tyler Glenn, Selena Gomez, Halsey, Ty Herndon, Imagine Dragons, Juanes, Adam Lambert, Mary Lambert, Jennifer Lopez, the Trans Chorus of Los Angeles, Kacey Musgraves, MNEK, Alex Newell, P!nk, Prince Royce, Nate Ruess, RuPaul, Troye Sivan, Jussie Smollett, Britney Spears, Gwen Stefani, and Meghan Trainor.

Proceeds from the sale of the new tribute single in the United States will benefit Equality Florida Pulse Victims Fund, the GLBT Community Center of Central Florida, and GLAAD.

“Orlando’s broken hearts have been lifted by the outpouring of love and support from people near and far,” said Equality Florida Executive Director Nadine Smith. “There has been beauty in the midst of our grief and we are grateful to these talented artists, producers, and GLAAD for helping us mourn and laugh and cry and sing together.”

“The horrific attack on the LGBT community in Orlando has left us devastated, but not defeated,” said GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “As we continue to mourn the crushing loss of 49 Americans, the majority of whom were Latino and whose lives were lost to hate, we stand resolved in paying tribute to their memory, supporting the victims and families, and working together to achieve full acceptance once and for all.”

“This senseless tragedy is a call to all of us to stand together and face down hatred, intolerance and violence…and having grown up a short drive from Orlando, it really brings it right to my doorstep,” commented John Janick, Chairman and CEO of Interscope Geffen A&M. “We all know music has the power to heal, and I’m honored and grateful to be a part of whatever our business can do to help.”

Listen below. Available on iTunes here.

Orlando Gay Chorus Peforms Emotional “You’ll Never Walk Alone”

Denver hosted the Gala Choruses Festival this past weekend, where the Orlando Gay Chorus delivered an emotional “You’ll Never Walk Alone” from the Broadway musical Carousel.

Halfway through the song, the conductor turned to the audience and encouraged them to stand and sing along. The result of the unified voices raised in song is as impactful as you would imagine.

(h/t JMG)

Florida: Orange County Sheriff & Fire Departments Get Down For #KeepDancingOrlando Campaign

It’s all awesome when the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and the Orange County Firefighters get involved in the #KeepDancingOrlando campaign.

A video posted to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office’s Facebook page begins with a mock press conference announcing an “important announcement by Sheriff Demings.”

“We’re here for an important announcement today. I wanna keep Orlando smiling. Keep dancing, Orlando!” Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said before placing a boom box on top of the podium.

“Hit it,” Demings says, and when he presses play, the unmistakable beat for Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” starts to play.

Demings begins to dance first, sliding enthusiastically, and members of the OCSO soon follow suit.

The onlooking crowd, acting as members of the press for the video, cheer and throw up the papers they’re holding to join in on the dancing.

The #KeepDancingOrlando challenge was created to channel positive energy and honor the 49 victims of the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub on June 12, the OCSO wrote on Facebook.

(h/t JMG)

Hillary Clinton Pens Open Letter For Orlando LGBT Newspaper: “I See You. I Hear You. I’m With You.”

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has penned an open letter for Orlando’s LGBT newspaper, Watermark.

Here’s the essay in it’s entirety.

We know their names.

Stanley. Amanda. Oscar. Rodolfo. Antonio. Darryl. Angel. Juan. Luis. Cory. Tevin. Deonka. Simon. Leroy. Mercedez. Peter. Juan. Paul. Frank. Miguel. Javier. Jason. Eddie. Anthony. Drew. Alejandro. Brenda. Gilberto. Kimberly. Akyra. Luis. Geraldo. Eric. Joel. Jean. Enrique. Jean. Xavier. Christopher. Yilmary. Edward. Shane. Martin. Jonathan. Juan. Luis. Franky. Luis. Jerald.

We know where and when and how they died. And we know that every one of their stories represents someone who won’t get the chance to live out the future they deserved.

Our hearts are broken, and our thoughts are with the survivors still fighting for their lives. And to the LGBT community – in Orlando and across America – know this: I see you. I hear you. I’m with you. And I will do everything in my power to prevent future tragedies like this act of terror and hate.

That means acknowledging who was targeted in this attack. From the raids on the Stonewall Inn in New York, to the arson attack on UpStairs Lounge in New Orleans, to the detonation of a bomb at the Otherside Lounge in Atlanta – too often, places that should be safe for the LGBT community have instead been targets for violence. For all the progress we’ve made, it’s still far too dangerous to be gay in America.

LGBT people are now more likely than any other group to be the target of a hate crime. LGBT people of color face intersectional pressures and dangers. And a full 70 percent of victims of anti-LGBT murders in the United States are people of color – and the statistics are particularly striking for transgender people of color. So there’s a reason so many people seek out safe spaces.

In Orlando, that sense of security was shattered. The gunman specifically targeted the Latino LGBT community. In fact, it was “Latin Night” during Pride Month, a time that should have been a joyous celebration. When that feeling of safety comes under attack, all Americans must stand in solidarity with our LGBT brothers and sisters.

After the massacre, LGBT people from all over the country came forward to share how much this hit home. That’s because so many communities in America have somewhere like Pulse, where people can find a community and feel free to be themselves.

Yes, this is a time for reflection. But more importantly, this is a time for action. We need real plans to prevent future attacks and ensure the safety of the LGBT community and all Americans. Here’s mine.

First, we need to take on the epidemic of gun violence in America. Prohibiting suspected terrorists from buying guns – and expanding background checks so that terrorists can’t easily avoid that prohibition – should not be controversial. We can’t legislate hate away, but we can make it less deadly. That’s why I was so proud to see Democrats staging a sit-in on the floor of the House of Representatives, demanding a vote on commonsense gun reforms that the vast majority of Americans support.

Second, since we know that the gunman in Orlando was radicalized by terrorist propaganda, we need to disrupt and dismantle the global online network that groups like ISIS use to communicate and to inspire these horrible acts. As president, I’ll set up a task force to track and counter the threat of lone wolf attacks like these.

And third, let’s continue to fight for the ideal this attack intended to target: that no matter who you are, or who you love, you are equal in America. Let’s fight to enshrine that ideal in our laws—by passing the Equality Act. And let’s call out hateful rhetoric whenever and wherever we see it in our daily lives.

The attack at Pulse shook so many of us to our core. But in the weeks since, we have seen moving demonstrations of support – from the thousands of people attending vigils across the country, to the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for donating blood, to the people and groups on the ground in Orlando who have come together to support their LGBT friends, neighbors, colleagues, and loved ones.

So know that you have allies who are looking out for you. People like Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, whose leadership and support during this crisis ought to be a model for other local leaders. And you have millions of Americans celebrating Pride Month alongside you.

I’m one of them. And I’ll never stop fighting for your right to live freely, openly, and without fear.