In the wake of the tragic mass shooting that took place at a gay nightclub in Orlando on June 12, gay rights advocates banded together and created a new LGBTQ group that not only honors the 49 victims killed during the tragedy but advocates against gun violence. On Sunday afternoon, Gays Against Guns marched during the New York City Pride parade to raise awareness and promote their message — they also laid across Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue in protest, PIX 11 reports.
Founded by Kevin Hertzog and Brian Worth to fight against both homophobia and gun violence in the U.S., the group, who goes by GAG for short, plans to focus on banning access to assault weapons, create stricter background checks for gun buyers, prevent gun sales over the Internet and eliminate gun sales at gun shows with no background checks.
“We want to present as large a crowd as possible on Sunday [at the March], to show New York and the U.S. that LGBTQ people are outraged. The current situation with guns in America makes us gag in disgust!,” Hertzog said in a statement.
GAG had its first meeting on June 17 in order to organize and make plans to march in the parade. Their main goal is to work peacefully to prevent another mass shooting like the one in Orlando from happening again, according to a press release.
“Government has failed us. Life is valuable, and we’re at our best when life is celebrated in peace. Actions speak louder than petitions, lobbyists, prayers, thoughts and moments of silence.”
One week after forming, GAG says it plans to meet within the next week to better figure out their place in the overall gun control movement, according to their Facebook page. An unofficial spokeswoman claimed the group may also change their current name to be more inclusive in an email received by PIX 11.