Congress has passed legislation designating the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida a national monument. The Senate voted on the legislation Wednesday, clearing the final hurdle for the bill which now goes to President Biden’s desk.
Passage of the bill comes three days before the 5th anniversary of the Pulse massacre, when a gunman opened fire inside of the crowded nightclub, killing 49 people. The bill was introduced in the House by Representatives Val Demings (D-FL), Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), and Darren Soto (D-FL), and passed in the chamber in May.
“I am honored that my bill with Rep. Stephanie Murphy, Rep. Val Demings for Pulse National Memorial passed the House and thanks to Sen. Rick [Scott] and the Senate for taking action,” Soto posted on Twitter. Senator Scott (R-FL) — who had been governor of Florida at the time of the massacre — had introduced the bill in the Senate on Wednesday.
Although a similar bill failed in the Senate last year, the current legislation passed unanimously in the chamber. In a message on Facebook, Pulse thanked Congress for its passage. “The unanimous consent is such welcome news as we are set to mark the five-year remembrance of the Pulse tragedy,” the statement reads. “This recognition from both the House and Senate means so much to the LGBTQ+ community.”
Passage of the bill is somewhat bittersweet, especially for victims of the massacre. Earlier this month, Governor Rick DeSantis stripped LGBTQ+ groups from the state’s budget, including money that had been earmarked for providing mental health support to survivors of the massacre.