#StopTheHate

June 15, 2016

Assemblymember O'Donnell Speaks on the Assembly Floor in reaction to Orlando massacre

Watch the video here

Today, Assembly Member O'Donnell took to the floor of the Assembly urging everyone to #StopTheHate as he acknowledged the massacre in Orlando, remembered the victims and spoke of the devastating effect of hate on the LGBT community.

“These were Americans. They were different cultures, they were different backgrounds, they came from different places. They spoke different languages. They were targeted because they were thought to be or perceived to be gay,” O’Donnell said.

He acknowledged the loss and pain experienced by family members

“To the families who lost their loved ones, the greatest pain known to a human is the loss of a child,” O’Donnell added.

And he spoke on the hate that leads to these types of massacres.

“You know where hate comes from? Hate is taught. It's carefully taught. As members of the LGBT community, we all know personally the physical and psychological harm that this hate can cause. We know what it means to not belong, to be afraid. And we know that it does not have to be that way. What we seek out are places of safety, places where we can go and talk to each other, places to go where we will not be targeted for who we are.”

He concluded entreating his colleagues to speak out against hate.

You want to stop the hate? How about the next time somebody says hateful about people like me, you stand up and say no. How about the next time a politician stands up and blames me for something that goes wrong in the society, you say stop it, or you won't have my support! If you're not willing to do that, then you're not willing to stop the hate. Are you going to do something other than make speeches? Are you going to stop the hate? Are you going to stop the hate! Are you going to stop the hate!

Assembly Member O'Donnell's powerful speech concluded the discussion on Assembly Resolution K01563 to mourn the loss of life in wake of the devastating tragedy in Orlando, Florida.

You can watch the full video of the speech here.

You can find the text of the resolution here.