July 22, 2016 at 5:52 pm EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
Hillary Clinton visits the Pulse nightclub

Pulse, Orlando, gay news, Washington Blade

Hillary Clinton on July 22, 2016, made an unscheduled visit to the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

Hillary Clinton on Friday made an unscheduled visit to the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla.

Jennifer Epstein of Bloomberg posted a picture to her Twitter page that shows Clinton standing in front of a makeshift memorial outside the gay nightclub with a bouquet of flowers in her hand. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) were standing by her side.

Clinton earlier in the day met with privately with some of the family members and friends of the 49 people who died inside the Pulse nightclub on June 12. She also attended a roundtable with Dyer, GLBT Community Center of Central Florida Executive Director Terry DeCarlo, Islamic Center of Central Florida President Muhammed Mursi, Orlando City Commissioner Patty Sheehan and Orlando SWAT Team Director Mark Canty.

Ida Vishkaee Eskamani, Carlos Guillermo Smith and Gina Duncan of Equality Florida also took part.

“We need to acknowledge and be very clear who this attack targeted: The Latino LGBT community, by any measure was the community that was most severely impacted by this terrible attack,” said Clinton. “What does that mean? Well, among other things, it means that it is still dangerous to be LGBT in America.”

Clinton’s traveled to Orlando a day after Donald Trump formally accepted the Republican Party’s presidential nomination.

The billionaire in the wake of the Pulse nightclub massacre — which is the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history — reiterated his call to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the U.S. Trump on Thursday highlighted the shooting during his speech at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

“Only weeks ago, in Orlando, Fla., 49 wonderful Americans were savagely murdered by an Islamic terrorist,” he said. “This time, the terrorist targeted the LGBTQ community. No good, and we’re going to stop it.”

“As your president, I will do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology,” added Trump.

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

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