LOS ANGELES, CA – Today, MALDEF President and General Counsel, Thomas A. Saenz, released the following statement in reaction to the tragic loss of so many innocent lives this past weekend in Orlando, Florida:

“MALDEF joins the entire national Latino family and the broader American human community in mourning the victims of the hate-driven act of domestic terrorism this past weekend in Orlando, Florida. Those who died at the Pulse nightclub, in the midst of LGBTQ Pride Month, are martyrs to the ongoing cause of civil and human rights. Our nation has a regrettably long and harrowing history of innocent people, children and adults, losing their lives to the hatred of civil rights deniers and those who incite them. Shame on any who would use this tragic event to excuse or encourage further division and exclusion. MALDEF will continue to work, together with our inspiring allies in the LGBTQ community, to root out hate crimes and the rhetorical and practical mechanisms – including the too-ready availability of assault weaponry – that enable these heinous and cowardly acts.”