Thirteen years ago Barbara Poma opened the Pulse club in Orlando (the site of Sunday's attack) in memory of her brother who had died of AIDS. The name was chosen because "we just wanted to keep the heartbeat alive." She will reopen. She's got another 49 heartbeats to keep alive.
Catholic Bishop Robert Lynch of St. Petersburgh, FL wrote a surprising op-ed for the Washington Post.
…sadly it is religion, including our own, that targets, mostly verbally, and often breeds contempt for gays, lesbians and transgender people. Attacks today on LGBT men and women often plant the seed of contempt, then hatred, which can ultimately lead to violence.
Singling out people for victimization because of their religion, their sexual orientation, their nationality must be offensive to God’s ears. It has to stop, too.
Richard Kim explains the popularity of places like Pulse:
Gay bars are therapy for people who can’t afford therapy; temples for people who lost their religion, or whose religion lost them; vacations for people who can’t go on vacation; homes for folk without families; sanctuaries against aggression. They take sound and fabric and flesh from the ordinary world, and under cover of darkness and the influence of alcohol or drugs, transform it all into something that scrapes up against utopia.
Westboro Baptist Church were prompt in declaring their intent to protest at the funerals of those killed in Sunday's attack. As these funerals take place hundreds of residents are showing up to form human screens so that the mourners can't see the WBC people – who haven't actually shown up yet. But the screens will continue, just in case they do.