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Read it here: Full OKC Pride statement on OKC Pride events and Orlando nightclub attack

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 12 June, 2016 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Statement by Michael Clark, president, OKC Pride Inc.

Our hearts go out to the victims, families and friends of the tragic events at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando. While all of the details and motivations remain uncertain, what is clear is that this heinous attack on our LGBTQ community will leave an indelible mark on our society.

In the month when we celebrate Pride, recognize our diversity and honor those who fought for our rights, this tragedy exemplifies our need for continued vigilance in the struggle for true equality. No one should have to fear for their safety or basic human rights just because of who they are or who they love.

We stand here today on the route of the 29th annual OKC Pride Parade that is just two weeks away. Many have asked how this tragedy will affect the OKC Pride celebration on June 24-26 and the answer is that it only solidifies the need to come together in celebration of Pride and remembrance of both how far we have come and how far we have left to go.

Pride was born of a need to stand up against oppression, discrimination and to fight for equality. The LGBTQ community has a long history of enduring assaults and we come together today to make it clear that we will continue to move forward in our battle for equality. No individual, organization or attack will drive us back into the shadows.

As we stand here today and march down the route of the OKC Pride Parade, we welcome the entire Oklahoma City community to join us in two weeks to show their support for our LGBTQ community in Oklahoma and say in no uncertain terms that we will not let hated determine who we are or how we express ourselves.

Please join us for OKC Pride 2016 to show Oklahoma and the world that we will not cave to hatred and are proud of who we are. We will have private security on site and are partnering with the Oklahoma Police Department and Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office to ensure a safe and secure event for everyone. Our Equality Concert is Friday evening, June 26 followed by the Pride Arts Festival on Saturday and Sunday, culminating in the OKC Pride Parade on Sunday, June 26. We have a full slate of activities and expect more than 75,000 attendees to come celebrate the journey of Pride and remember all of those we have lost along the way.

Michael Clark, president OKC Pride Inc

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