ORLANDO, Fla. — The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed legislation, for a second straight year, to designate the Pulse nightclub as a national memorial.
What You Need To Know
- The U.S. House has passed legislation to designate Orlando's Pulse as a national memorial
- Similar legislation also passed the House last year but not the U.S. Senate
- Rep. Val Demings of Orlando touted the bill in honor of "the 49 people who lost their lives"
The passage of H.R. 49, for the National Pulse Nightclub Memorial, follows a similar bill that passed the House last year but failed to get sufficient support in the Senate, controlled then by Republicans but now by Democrats.
After Wednesday's House action, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., introduced a companion bill on Thursday, a spokeswoman from his office told Spectrum News. Last June, Scott touted a resolution that recognized the anniversary of the attack, which happened on June 12, 2016, and killed 49 people.
"Floridians will never forget the horrific events of June 12, 2016 — the day our state, nation, the City of Orlando, and Hispanic and LGBTQ communities were attacked in an act of terror, and 49 innocent lives were lost," Scott said in a statement through his office. "This legislation honors their memory and serves as a reminder that our nation will always stand, together, against hate and evil in this world.”
U.S. Rep. Val Demings, D-Orlando, spoke Wednesday on the House floor in support of the legislation, touting it “in honor and remembrance of the 49 people who lost their lives on this tragic night five years ago.”
The attack at the nightclub, at 1912 South Orange Ave., became at the time the largest mass shooting in U.S. history and the deadliest incident of violence against the LGBTQ community in modern U.S. history.
“Orlando Strong is more than just a slogan,” Demings said on the House floor. “It is a promise to support each other and to never forget those we lost and those who were injured on that tragic night. By establishing Pulse as a national memorial, we will honor their memories and remind ourselves of that promise.”
Demings co-sponsored the legislation with Reps. Darren Soto, D-Kissimmee, and Stephanie Murphy, D-Winter Park.
“We owe it to those we lost to honor their memories by dedicating a national memorial at Pulse — a memorial that reflects the same love, acceptance and spirit of community that embodied the victims and embodies the LGBTQ community at large,” Murphy said on the House floor.
On Twitter, Soto wrote that Congress moved "a step closer to nationally remembering the 49 angels lost and 53 injured during this heinous act of terrorism."