COLORADO SPRINGS — In its early days, 20 years ago, the site for Club Q was Select in Partly because it was far from the nearest roads, its location afforded its clients the security of not being disturbed. being Observed leaving and entering.
Even though the nightclub is now a place of refuge for the L.G.B.T.Q. community, being Club Q It has never It was easy in The most conservative Colorado Springs.
Also, the violence that broke out there Saturday night was justifiable. was, at once, unimaginable in A place where people can relax and feel accepted as they are. It is also woven into the background of a place. in There were many different ways to do it. in positive directions — until a man in Body armor entered the club and lit the fire.
For many years Colorado Springs was It was a hub for anti-gay activism and served as a home base for Christian think tanks, political groups hostile towards L.G.B.T.Q. Richard Skorman (a long-standing City Council member and local entrepreneur) stated that his interests are important. Their influence reached a high level in 1992, when these groups pushed for the passage of a state constitution amendment prohibiting local governments from passing antidiscrimination laws based upon sexual orientation. The law was Later, the decision was reversed.
“We had that reputation,” Mr. Skorman spoke. “Colorado was the hate state, and Colorado Springs was the hate city.”
During that time, his restaurant, Poor Richard’s, was For this reason, it is repeatedly targeted being This is a gay-friendly bar. The window was frequently smashed by bricks and employees were regularly threatened.
Mr. Skorman was City Council member who recognized same-sex partnership for city employees in 1999. Four years later, a conservative council removed the benefits.
But in He said that anti-gay activism has increased in recent years. in The city has almost disappeared. It hosts an annual pride parade, and the city’s rapidly-growing population has reduced the power of far-right conservatives.
“What happened is a tragedy,” Mr. Skorman spoke. “But I don’t think it’s unique to our community. It is happening all across the country. There are a lot of crazy, angry people out there, and it’s very easy for them to get guns.”
The aftermath was more American than a local horror.
A few dozen people met for a quiet prayer vigil at a Methodist church close to the nightclub on Sunday afternoon.
Those in Attendees lit candles, read prayers, and gave hugs to each other. in St. Paul’s United Methodist Church.
“This club was a refuge for our community,” Bird Berg (31), a produce manager in a grocery store, was present at the vigil alongside her wife Kourtney Berg (31). “I’m completely devastated at how this can happen again and again.”
The Bergs, who were born and raised in Bergs in Colorado Springs said that they have been coming to the club for a while. was Open to patrons underage on some nights per week since they were in High school. They knew both of the victims who were fatally wounded.
Kourtney Berg stated that the latest tragedy has brought back memories from another mass shooting in Colorado Springs in 2015: A gunman with antiabortion views opened fire on a Planned Parenthood clinic killing three and injuring nine others.
“To be honest, I don’t see a solution to these things,” Kourtney wiped away her tears after the vigil. “Access to guns is never going to go away.”
The Rev. David Petty, the pastor at St. Paul’s recited a meditation that he wrote five years ago in Another mass shooting occurred when a gunman shot and killed 58 people at an outdoor music festival. in Las Vegas
“After all, we have done this before,” Rev. Petty reading. “We will talk about mental health, and terrorism, and we’ll talk about hate and love.”
“We will shout opinions across the internet, and we will unfriend those who make us upset. There will be memorials, and vigils, and thoughts and prayers. We have done this before.”