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To the LGBT community,

I have many close gay friends and the news of the horrific attack on innocent people at Pulse club in Orlando Florida hit me incredibly hard. This was an attack on LGBT people everywhere, and as a friend to your community, I understand exactly what this means. This psychopathic act of terrorism was targeted specifically at people like you and serves at a reminder that while we have made progress, there are dark forces of barbarism still present in our society.

From what we can tell, Islamic fundamentalist Omar Mateen became enraged when he saw two men kissing, then went armed with an AR-15 to Pulse, notorious gay club in Orlando and massacred 50 people. To think that an act of love between two consenting adults in 2016 so infuriated someone that he ended the lives of 50 completely innocent people is beyond comprehension. It is heartbreaking, sickening and frightening. 

But as a straight male, I would like you, the LGBT community to know the following. 

You are not alone. You may be a minority in this country and around the world, but you have many allies. I am one of them and I will defend your right to marry, adopt, live freely and love whomever you want with the same force as I would defend my own. I will fight along side you for as long and as hard as necessary, using any means I have. The media can be a weapon to fight for your right to live as you wish, and this website will be a friend to you. We will call out homophobia, attack those who want to strip you of your rights, and battle to change the prejudice you face. 

In this time of darkness be assured that there is light. The hatred you felt this past weekend is not representative of who we are as a society. This evil was an aberration, and a bump in the road towards a brighter future where we can all live peaceably with each other. I know this because of the outpouring of love and compassion I am witnessing on social media and in the streets around the world. There are millions of us, and only a few of them. We will win because as Martin Luther King said,"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."

So please do not give in to fear, because that is what the darkness wants. Let's keep showing our love for one another and march forward towards a future filled with light. 

With love, 

Ben Cohen