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Funerals Held for Some Orlando Shooting Victims; LGBTQ Group Pays Tribute


Mourners cry as they leave the funeral service for Anthony Luis Laureano Disla, one of the victims of the Pulse nightclub mass shooting, in Orlando, Florida, June 17, 2016.

Mourners cry as they leave the funeral service for Anthony Luis Laureano Disla, one of the victims of the Pulse nightclub mass shooting, in Orlando, Florida, June 17, 2016.

Family and friends of some of the 49 people killed in the massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, gathered for the funerals of loved ones Friday, one day after President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden met with grieving relatives, survivors, law enforcement personnel and first responders.

Anthony Luis Laureano Disla was among those who died Sunday when U.S.-born Omar Mateen, 29, opened fire at Pulse nightclub in the deadliest shooting in U.S. history. A local funeral home said Disla, 25, was to be buried in Orlando.

Disla was originally from Puerto Rico, but had relocated to Orlando to pursue his dream of being a dancer and choreographer.

New tribute

As Orlando mourned the dead, Human Rights Campaign — the largest national LGBTQ organization — unveiled an eight-story tribute Friday at its Washington, D.C., headquarters to those who perished.

HRC said images of all 49 victims of the attack were installed in its front windows with the message, "We Are Orlando." HRC also said an online vigil for the victims and survivors has been created.

Mourners embrace outside the funeral service for Anthony Luis Laureano Disla, one of the victims of the Pulse nightclub mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, June 17, 2016.

Mourners embrace outside the funeral service for Anthony Luis Laureano Disla, one of the victims of the Pulse nightclub mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, June 17, 2016.

Additionally, the group said that it adopted a resolution Thursday to address what it calls "the epidemic of hate that has fueled anti-LGBTQ-motivated murder, assault and discrimination, as well as common sense gun violence prevention policies that would help keep the LGBTQ community safe."

The HRC announcement comes as lawmakers in the Senate prepare to meet Monday to take up four gun control proposals.

Gun control

Gun control is a politically divisive issue in the United States. The powerful U.S. gun lobby, led chiefly by the National Rifle Association, has fought off numerous gun control efforts in the U.S., even after deadly attacks like the Orlando massacre that have captured the attention of the nation.

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has said he would meet with the gun rights organization to discuss gun control in the aftermath of the Orlando shooting. The NRA said it will be "happy" to meet with him.

Mateen called Orlando's 911 emergency line three times as he carried out the attack, professing his allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and referencing the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing that left three people dead.

In Orlando on Thursday, Obama said, "If we don't act, we will keep seeing more massacres like this because we will be choosing to allow them to happen."

The siege in the Orlando nightclub ended when police knocked holes into the establishment and killed Mateen, the son of Afghan immigrants, in a shootout.

Separately, Friday marks the one-year anniversary of the deadly attack in Charleston, South Carolina, where gunman Dylann Roof shot and killed nine people who were holding a bible study at historically black Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. He is set to go on trial in November, and could face the death penalty if convicted.

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