July 27, 2016 at 3:44 pm EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
Mother of Pulse nightclub massacre victim to speak at DNC

the Pulse nightclub, Christine Leinonen, gay news, Washington Blade

Christine Leinonen, center, lost her son Christopher “Drew” Leinonen in the Pulse nightclub massacre. She is scheduled to speak at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on July 27, 2016. (Courtesy of Nadine Smith/Equality Florida)

PHILADELPHIA — The mother of a gay man who was killed inside the Pulse nightclub is scheduled to speak at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday.

Christine Leinonen’s son, Christopher “Drew” Leinonen, and his fiancé, Juan Guerrero, were among the 49 people who died inside the gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., on June 12. Christine Leinonen is expected to take the stage with Brandon Wolf, who survived the massacre, and José Arriagada, who is her son’s best friend.

Christine Leinonen will deliver her speech five days after Hillary Clinton visited the Pulse nightclub.

Clinton placed a bouquet of flowers at a makeshift memorial as Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) stood by her side. She met with some of the family members of the victims and attended a roundtable with local activists and officials.

Donald Trump in response to the massacre reiterated his call to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the country. The billionaire on July 21 highlighted the Pulse nightclub shooting during his speech at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

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

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