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House passes bill to designate Pulse nightclub a national memorial

A memorial at the Pulse nightclub
June 19, 2018 : Pulse Nightclub Interim Memorial south side Pulse sign and visitor message board, east wall photographs, and lawn.Photo: Shutterstock

The House of Representatives passed a resolution to make the Pulse nightclub a national memorial. There were no objections. It now goes to the Senate.

But the House passed the resolution last year as well but died in the Senate after Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) refused to support it.

Related: Christian conservative activists are planning an ex-gay march near the Pulse nightclub

On June 12, 2016, a gunman entered the nightclub in Orlando, Florida, and opened fire. He killed 49 people and wounded 53 others in the LGBTQ club before police shot him.

It was the deadliest mass shooting in America at the time.

H.R. 49 was introduced by Democrat Reps. Val Demings, Stephanie Murphy, and Darren Soto. Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) will introduce it in the Senate.

Scott was Florida’s governor at the time of the shooting.

“This will give this hallowed ground the federal recognition it deserves, especially for those who lost everything,” Soto said when the bill was originally introduced in 2019. “This will give this hallowed ground the federal recognition it deserves, especially for those who lost everything.”

Omar Mateen was killed in a shootout with SWAT team members during the massacre in Orlando. He was the only shooter and was killed after a three-hour standoff with law enforcement as victims hid inside the club. Mateen pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group during the standoff.

Prior to the attack on Pulse, a handful of other U.S. gay bars had been targeted, including Neighbours, a popular gay nightclub in Seattle. It was packed with New Year’s Eve revelers on December 31, 2013, when a man poured gasoline on a carpeted stairway and set it ablaze.

No one was injured; Masub Masmari was sentenced to 10 years in prison for arson.

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