June 14, 2016 at 11:47 am EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
World pays tribute to Orlando nightclub massacre victims

Orlando, Jerusalem, gay news, Washington Blade

A woman in Jerusalem lights a candle on June 11, 2016, in tribute to the victims of the Pulse Nightclub massacre. (Photo courtesy of Rotem Pesso)

Vigils and memorial services to honor the victims of the massacre at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Fla., have taken place around the world.

Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance, an Israeli LGBT advocacy group, organized a vigil for the victims that took place on Sunday in the city’s Zion Square.

Members of the London Gay Men’s Choir sang “Bridge Over Troubled Water” during a vigil on Monday that drew thousands of people to the city’s Soho neighborhood. The Eiffel Tower was also illuminated in rainbow colors in tribute to the victims of the nightclub massacre.

“Paris, city of equal rights, resolutely mobilized against homophobia,” wrote Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo in a tweet that contained a picture of the Eiffel Tower in rainbow colors.

U.S. Ambassador to Chile Michael Hammer was among those who joined Chilean LGBT activists at a candlelight vigil in the country’s capital of Santiago on Sunday.

The U.N. Security Council on Monday condemned the massacre in a statement that marks the first time it specifically denounced violence based on sexual orientation. Francisco Eguiguren Praeli of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, which the Organization of American States created in 1959 as a way to promote human rights throughout the Western Hemisphere, said “the LGBT community knows too well the face of violence and discrimination.”

“This attack shows that while we have overcome many obstacles in the recognition of the human rights LGBT persons, there is yet a lot to be done to achieve full equality, and freedom from violence and discrimination for LGBT persons; including state-led measures to end pervasive societal intolerance towards diversity,” he said.

The U.S. Embassy in Jamaica raised the rainbow flag to honor the victims of the nightclub massacre. Jamaican Attorney General Marlene Malahoo sparked outrage when she described the decision as “insensitive” in a tweet.

Gay U.S. ambassador meets with mother of Dominican victim

Press reports indicate that Dominicans and Cubans were among the 49 people who died inside the nightclub.

Oscar Aracena Montero, who born in the Dominican Republic, and his partner were killed.

Gay U.S. Ambassador to the Dominican Republic James “Wally” Brewster on Monday met with Aracena’s mother, Altagracia Montero. The meeting took place a day after Dominican religious leaders took part in an anti-LGBT rally that coincided with the annual OAS General Assembly that is taking place in the country.

Cubanet, an independent Cuban website, reported on Tuesday that two men from the island died inside the nightclub.

Christopher Sanfeliz, 24, who was born in Havana, lived in Tampa, Fla. Cubanet reported that Alejandro Barrios Martínez, 21, grew up in the province of Pinar del Río.

Barrios’ cousin, Álvaro Álvarez, who is a journalist in Chile, told the website CaféFuerte.com that he moved to the Orlando area in 2014 to live with his father.

Álvarez said that Barrios’ mother lives in Cuba.

“The family is living this tragedy with rage and anguish,” Álvarez told CaféFuerte.com.

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael //

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