The PrideFest parade attracted thousands of people to Milwaukee’s Southside.
By H. Nelson Goodson
Hispanic News Network U.S.A.
June 12, 2016
Milwaukee, WI – On Sunday, the annual Milwaukee PrideFest Parade drew thousands of people along the route. The parade began at 2:00 p.m. and proceeded along S. 2nd Street in Milwaukee’s Southside Walker’s Point neighborhood.
The annual parade coincides with the three day PrideFest at the Summerfest grounds (Henry Mier Festival Grounds) at the lakefront. The PrideFest festival ends on Sunday.
State Representative JoCasta Zamarripa, 39, (Dem. – Milw. 8th Assembly District) who is running for reelection participated in the parade. Zamarripa and members of the Wisconsin Democratic Party LGBT Caucus including Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, Milwaukee County District Attorney John T. Chisholm, State Senator Tim Carpenter and others participated in the parade this year. PrideFest on Sunday placed metal detectors for added security measures and in wake of the massacre at the Pulse gay nightclub on Orlando. The dead toll has reached 49 people who were killed and more than 52 people were wounded by a lone gunman, Omar Mir Seddique Mateen, 29. The dead toll is expected to rise.
Mateen apparently shot his way into the Pulse nightclub around 2:00 a.m. injuring a security guard. Mateen took hostages, but was fatally just after 5:00 a.m. during a gunbattle with a nine man SWAT Team. Mateen apparently called 911 about 20 minutes into the attack and told the operator that he was pledging allegiance to ISIS, according to police.
Mateen was outed by friends that he was gay as well and frequent the Pulse nightclub before the deadly attack and used a gay dating app too.
The LGBT community in the U.S. is in mourning and President Barack H. Obama condemned the massacre and order for the U.S. flag to be lowered to half-mast.
Wisconsin State Representative Josh Zepnick released the following statement, “My heart goes out to the families of loved ones hurt by the tragic murder in Florida and prayers of support and solidarity for those who daily feel the fear and threats of anti-LGBT hate in our society. America is not free unless you can be safe when doing safe things, like enjoying a night club or sitting on your porch or going to a movie. There’s several narratives that need to be addressed by our political system: the links to radical Jihadism, the free flowing of gun weapons, and the sick rationalizations coming from American homophobics dressed up in Christianity who justify this violence. But for now, we need to mourn the tragic loss of human lives, and commit ourselves to get rid of violence in our culture one day a time.”
49 deceased victims from the Pulse nightclub in Orlando have been identified as
● Stanley Almodovar III, 23-years-old
● Amanda Alvear, 25-years-old
● Oscar A Aracena-Montero, 26-years-old
● Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33-years-old
● Antonio Davon Brown, 29-years-old
● Darryl Roman Burt II, 29-years-old
● Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28-years-old
● Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25-years-old
● Luis Daniel Conde, 39-years-old
● Cory James Connell, 21-years-old
● Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25-years-old
● Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32-years-old
● Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31-years-old
● Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25-years-old
● Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26-years-old
● Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22-years-old
● Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22-years-old
● Paul Terrell Henry, 41-years-old
● Frank Hernandez, 27-years-old
● Miguel Angel Honorato, 30-years-old
● Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40-years-old
● Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19-years-old
● Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30-years-old
● Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25-years-old
● Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32 years old
● Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21-years-old
● Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49-years-old
● Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25-years-old
● Kimberly Morris, 37-years-old
● Akyra Monet Murray, 18-years-old
● Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20-years-old
● Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, 25-years-old
● Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36-years-old
● Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32-years-old
● Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35-years-old
● Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25-years-old
● Jean C. Nives Rodriguez, 27-years-old
● Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35-years-old
● Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24-years-old
● Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, 24-years-old
● Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34-years-old
● Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33-years-old
● Martin Benitez Torres, 33-years-old
● Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24-years-old
● Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37-years-old
● Luis S. Vielma, 22-years-old
● Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50-years-old
● Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37-years-old
● Jerald Arthur Wright, 31-years-old