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Like "a death in the family:" Officials, community groups react to Orlando shooting

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Posted at 12:22 PM, Jun 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-13 17:55:00-04

The mass shooting in Orlando feels like a "death in the family" to Jabari Lyles, the president of the GLBT Community Center of Baltimore and Central Maryland.

"That's exactly what it feels like," he said. "Even though it happened all the way in Orlando, all of us are implicated. It could have been any of us."

In the wake of the shooting that left 49 victims dead and over 50 others injured, responses from officials and community groups in Maryland continue to offer condolences and support.

Patrick Paschall, the executive director of Equality Maryland and FreeState Legal, said in a statement the events in Orlando highlight “that the struggle is not over as we work to create a world in which lesbian gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people are free to live authentically, with safety and dignity, in their own communities across Maryland, our country or the world.”

Paschall added that the LGBTQ community “will not be scared into isolation” or allow the attack to create divides in the community.

RELATED: Baltimore community mourns for those lost in Orlando

U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski released a statement offering her condolences, prayers and “heartfelt sympathies.”

"Americans deserve to know their neighborhoods are safe and free from intolerance and discrimination,” her statement said. “As we grieve with the families of the victims and struggle to cope with the latest tragedy, we should also lift up our voices in a unified call for peace."

At 7 p.m. Monday, the GLCCB, Equality Maryland and other groups are coming together to hold a candlelight vigil to remember the lives taken in Orlando. The vigil is scheduled to take place at the Y Not Lot at 4 W. North Avenue.

"We'll just have an opportunity to be together, reflect and heal," Lyles said. "Or at least begin to heal."

Here's a partial list of events happening in Baltimore and around the state tonight in solidarity with the victims in Orlando:

Monday, June 13, 2016 at 7pm – Baltimore City – Candle Light Vigil at Ynot Lot in Baltimore (Corner of Charles Street and North Avenue), Organized by GLCCB in collaboration with FreeState Legal and Equality Maryland.
https://www.facebook.com/events/1413476212011706/?ti=icl

Monday, June 13, 2016 at 7pm – Montgomery Village / Montgomery County – Muslim Community Joins LGBTQ Community to Condemn Violence and Bigotry at the International Cultural Center in Montgomery Village – 16650 Club House Road, Montgomery Village, MD. Co-sponsored by Montgomery County Muslim Democratic Club, FreeState Legal and Equality Maryland, and World Organization for Resource Development and Education. Co-sponsor list in formation.
https://www.facebook.com/events/1151780318211650/?ti=icl

Monday, June 13, 2016 at 7pm – Columbia / Howard County – Vigil at Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Columbia.  Sanctuary C of the Owen Brown Interfaith Center, 7246 Cradlerock Way, Columbia, MD 21045.  Sponsored by PFLAG Columbia-Howard County.

Monday, June 13, 2016 at 7pm – Montgomery Village / Montgomery County – Prayer Vigil for Orlando at Covenant United Methodist Church, 20301 Pleasant Ridge Drive, Montgomery Village, MD 20886
https://www.facebook.com/events/289188988081860/

Monday, June 13, 2016 at 7:30 pm – Hyattsville / Prince George’s County – Candlelight Vigil at Hyattsville City Building, 4310 Gallatin St., Hyattsville, MD 20781.  A candlelight vigil sponsored by the City of Hyattsville, featuring representatives of various faiths and opportunity for individual community members to speak.

Monday, June 13, 2016 at 8pm – Brunswick / Frederick County – Praying for Orlando: Candlelight prayer service at Grace Episcopal Church, 114 E A St. Brunswick, MD 21716.
https://www.facebook.com/events/1804301029815097/

Tuesday, June 14, 2016 at  8pm – Frederick / Frederick County – Candle Light Vigil for Pulse Victims at the Evangelical Reform Church United Church of Christ, 15 West Church St., Frederick, organized by the Frederick Center
https://www.facebook.com/events/893892177386806/?ti=icl

Lyles, who is also involved with organizing Baltimore Pride, said that the events in Orlando have not changed the plans. 

Baltimore Pride is still planned for July 19-24. 

Other officials and community organizations spoke out on social media:

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