To pay tribute to the dozens of victims killed at a Orlando gay nightclub early Sunday morning, Governor Andrew ordered that the 408-foot spire of the 1 World Trade Center be lit up in the colors of the gay pride flag. A statement from his office said, "New York stands in solidarity with the LGBT community and mourns the loss of the Americans whose lives were cut short by this senseless act of violence."
Earlier in the day, Cuomo commented on the horrific act of violence that left at least 53 injured in addition to the 50 dead:
“From Stonewall to marriage equality to protecting transgender individuals to the first-in-the nation executive action to ban conversion therapy, New York has led the way in the fight for LGBT rights. In this state, we believe that no matter your race, creed, color, gender identity or expression you have the right live your life free from persecution and prejudice.
"This senseless act of terror reminds us that there are those who seek to undermine these very values and the progress we have achieved. We will not let this happen. An attack on one is an attack on all. New York joins the rest of the nation in rejecting this hate, fear and extremism and stands shoulder to shoulder with the LGBT community.
“Tonight, I am directing One World Trade Center to be lit the colors of the pride flag in a tribute to LGBT Americans and the lives that were lost. On behalf of all New Yorkers, I extend my deepest thoughts and prayers to those affected by this horrendous tragedy.”
The governor's office also says he "directed New York State law enforcement to remain vigilant in the wake of this senseless attack and has increased security at high-profile locations across the state."
Mayor Bill de Blasio, who called the deadly shooting an attack on "our values and freedom... it's an act of terror, there's no question about that, and it's an act of hate," said that New Yorkers here would see heightened police presence, especially at LGBT facilities. City Hall was lit up in rainbow colors too:
— NYC Mayor's Office (@NYCMayorsOffice) June 13, 2016
However, the Empire State Building was dark:
— Empire State Bldg (@EmpireStateBldg) June 12, 2016
During his remarks, President Barack Obama said:
This is an especially heartbreaking day for all our friends -- our fellow Americans -- who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. The shooter targeted a nightclub where people came together to be with friends, to dance and to sing, and to live. The place where they were attacked is more than a nightclub -- it is a place of solidarity and empowerment where people have come together to raise awareness, to speak their minds, and to advocate for their civil rights.
So this is a sobering reminder that attacks on any American -- regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation -- is an attack on all of us and on the fundamental values of equality and dignity that define us as a country. And no act of hate or terror will ever change who we are or the values that make us Americans.
Tonight, at 7:30 p.m., there will be a second vigil, which Cuomo will attend, at the Stonewall Inn Stonewall Inn at 53 Christopher Street in Greenwich Village.