INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Dozens of people gathered outside the statehouse Saturday to honor the victims of the Orlando mass shooting. The 'Hoosiers Unite Against Hate' rally was organized by members of the LGBTQ community.
Many arrived holding rainbow flags and signs with messages of love. Speakers took turn addressing the crowd and emphasizing the need for support and understanding. Circle City residents continue mourning alongside the rest of the country after the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. Forty-nine people were killed when a man opened fire inside a gay nightclub in Orlando last Sunday.
"No one should ever have to experience a massacre when they are just loving who they love," said Vanessa Enos Quintana. "Love is an innocent thing, it’s not a terrible thing."
The massacre is now classified as both an act of terrorism and a hate crime.
"We just need to come together with love, that’s the only way to get rid of hate, to spread love," said Alyssa Webb.
Members of the Indianapolis LGBTQ community relating to the victims, who they say were just spending time a place often seen as a refuge from prejudice.
"Our peers, our colleagues, people we hang out with at a nightclub or youth center - that becomes our family," said Quintana.
Despite the tough realities of this week, those who attended the rally say they find inspiration to stand together even stronger than before.
"It makes me want to be out more, be more proud," Quintana said. "I’m not going to be afraid of that."