Ms Patten (Northern Metropolitan) — I rise to speak on the horrific events that occurred at Pulse nightclub in Orlando on 12 June. Nightclubs have been a historically safe space for the LGBTI community, a place without fear, without stigma or judgement. The victims were gay, and many of them were people of colour. All of them were in what they thought was a safe space.
We must not hesitate to blame the level and breadth of violence on the ease of access to deadly weapons designed to kill rapidly and indiscriminately. We must not fail to acknowledge that the target location was reflective of hatred and anger towards the LGBTI community. And we must not be afraid to call out religion, in this case Islamic extremism, for what it can be — a fuel, match and spark for this violence and bigotry.
I express my deepest condolences to the families and friends of victims and to the entire LGBTI community.