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Caitlyn Jenner, Matt Bomer, Stevie Wonder, Lance Bass and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti gathered in support of the Orlando, Fla., shooting victims and the LGBT community during an emotional Hollywood benefit on Saturday night.
The Lance Bass-hosted fundraiser paid tribute to the 49 victims murdered in the mass shooting of Pulse nightclub with Ryan Murphy-directed videos featuring Lady Gaga, Sarah Paulson, Emma Roberts, Angela Bassett, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Jamie Lee Curtis along with Kerry Washington, Tyler Perry, Jenner, Sofia Vergara, Jane Fonda and Laverne Cox.
The event featured surprise performances from Jessie J and Stevie Wonder, who called for an end to gun violence before he performed “More than a Love Song.”
“People that just feel they have to have their guns, it’s a heartbreak because it tells me that too many believe that it is easier for them to hate,” said Wonder. “It is easier for them to be destructive when we were all created in — in my religion — God’s image. As was said earlier, we have the right to love who we decide to love because love truly is the key.”
He continued: “I say that the only way that we can really put an end to this is check our egos. The only way we can end this is by remembering that every time we hate someone, we’re hating God or we’re hating Allah or whatever your religion might be. I believe that we all must come together in the spirit of love to put an end to all of this.”
Music filled the evening as the band LP gave two performances, Melissa Etheridge performed via live stream and Jessie J later followed with a performance of “Who You Are,” a song she said she wrote 11 years ago when she “was going through confusion of myself and who I was.” She followed that up with an acoustic version of “Domino,” which she said she heard was a popular track spun at Pulse.
Bass, an Orlando native and regular Pulse attendee, introduced a recorded video from whom he exclaimed as “our next President” Hillary Clinton, which featured the Democratic presidential nominee stressing the need to reduce gun violence and her commitment to the LGBT community.
Bomer also expressed his support for Clinton. When asked about gun control he told The Hollywood Reporter, “There are many reasons that I support Hillary’s campaign, and I support Hillary. I think she has policies that she is willing to try to put in effect that can help to reform it in a way that it needs to be reformed.”
Mayor Garcetti added that he was going to do his part to support the LGBT community in Los Angeles as well.
“If it means stepping out for the first time with the first transgender job fair on the steps of City Hall, we will do that,” said Garcetti. “We will change the bathrooms as we have when people are trying to use the bathroom just as they did in segregation. We will continue to push forward with young people in the city to make sure they are not bullied or beaten up and they can be the beautiful people that we know them to be.”
Pulse nightclub owner Barbara Poma also was in attendance with some of the staff who were working the night of the shootings. She said onstage that she was looking forward to a “new location where the LGBT community and all of Orlando will dance again.”
“We’ll stand strong against hate,” Poma concluded.
Proceeds from the fundraiser went towards the onePulse Foundation, which plans to build a memorial at the site of the Pulse nightclub. The foundation also gives 90 percent of funds to be distributed to mass shooting victims through the National Compassion Fund. Donations can be made by texting PULSE to 91999.
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