Heckler interrupts Beaverton vigil for Orlando victims

Man at vigil spewed homophobic and Islamophobic hate speech

A man interrupted a Beaverton vigil for the victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting Tuesday, June 14, 2016. (KOIN)

BEAVERTON, Ore. (KOIN) — Hundreds of cities around the world continue to stand with Orlando in the wake of a nightclub shooting that left 50 people dead.

More people gathered in Beaverton Tuesday night to spread the word of love. But things became difficult when a man tried to stir the pot with bigotry and hate.

The heckler butted in during a tribute, spewing homophobic and Islamophobic hate speech while the group read the names of each Orlando shooting victim.

But cooler heads prevailed. The vigil went on, as did the theme of love.

“I want to give something back, emotionally,” Thomas Romano, who attended the Beaverton vigil, said. “I see these people standing around with their lighted candles and very emotional responses to this terrible tragedy.”

With Portland’s Pride Parade coming up this weekend, locals are doing everything they can to stand in solidarity with Orlando and those affected by the tragedy.

“It’s beautiful to see us, to see folks from all walks of life, all parts of the community, to join us today and will continue through pride week,” Dominic Lopez, who spent Tuesday night making ribbons for Pride festivalgoers, said. “But they’ve been here a long time and will continue to be.”

Portland Police Bureau will have additional security at this weekend’s pride events.

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