Just moments ago, LGBTQ grassroots network GetEQUAL disrupted a press conference that followed a day-long meeting between Donald Trump and several hundred evangelical leaders. The disruption called attention to hate-mongering by both right-wing leaders and Trump–creating the atmosphere that led to last week’s massacre in Orlando–as well as the systemic violence that queer and trans people of color face every day.

The disrupters chanted “Take responsibility for Orlando,” “Your hate is killing us,” and “Your lies are killing us” in the middle of the press conference. The event was billed as a way for several hundred fundamentalist Christian leaders to “better understand [Trump] as a person.”  As the disruptors called out Trump and these evangelical leaders for their part in violence against LGBTQ people of color, protesters rallied outside.

Angela Peoples and Heather Cronk, co-directors of GetEQUAL, and the disruptors, were escorted out of the event.

“After the massacre in Orlando, it is vital to see the racist, xenophobic, and homophobic rhetoric peddled by Donald Trump and right-wing Christians for what it is: an incitement of violence,”    Heather Cronk, co-director of GetEQUAL, said beforehand. “Trump is in part responsible for the murder of the 49 primarily Latinx and Black LGBTQ people at Pulse a week ago. GetEQUAL will hold him, and all of the institutions and individuals who have a role in stoking and supporting this kind of violence, accountable for their actions.”

“The incisive hate-mongering of Donald Trump and right-wing religious ‘leaders’ is responsible not only for the massacre in Orlando, but also for the systemic violence that trans and queer people of color face everyday,”  explained Angela Peoples, co-director of GetEQUAL and one of the disruptors. “That violence doesn’t just happen in the streets or at nightclubs–it happens in the legislative chambers where right wing politicians have passed over 250 bills restricting the rights of LGBTQ people and people of color.

“The endemic violence facing LGBTQ people will not be solved through gun control or, as Trump has suggested, by putting more guns in the hands of more people,” Peoples added. “Thoughts and prayers are not enough; supporting LGBTQ Black and Latinx people requires fighting back against the right-wing demagogues creating violence against us both through words and policy.”

A statement from GetEQUAL on this disruption is available here: http://www.getequal.org/blog/getequals-statement-on-donald-trump-rally-lies-violence

Interviews with the disruptors of the event are available upon request.  Video and pictures are available on GetEQUAL’s Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/getequal/) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/GetEQUAL) pages, or are available upon request.

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