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LGBTQ rights protesters gathered at the Capitol

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Little Rock, Arkansas – The LGBTQ+ community gathered today at the State Capitol’s steps to protest those who, they claimed, wish to squelch their right to exist.

The LGBTQ+ community gathered on Sunday to attend a vigil for the lives lost at Club Q in Colorado approximately a month ago on the steps of the Capitol.

North Little Rock celebrates “Moments of Joy”. The organizers said they want to use their community’s experiences to stop the violent hatred.

“None of us deserve to be killed,” said one of the organizers, Justin Sarlo.

Senator Bart Hester of Arkansas disagrees with Justin Sarlo’s assertion that legislators don’t pay attention to them.

“I don’t think they are going to hear us now, but my hope is that by being at the state capitol where everybody going by this time of year, maybe others will hear us, who have more of an open heart and open mind,” stated Sarlo.

“You know I am not aware of any law that says someone shouldn’t exist. you know I am considered one of the far right legislatures, and I have no interest in any law that says someone shouldn’t exist or that they are not welcome or anything like that,” stated Hester.

The second amendment and the safety of the LGBTQ+ community were two major issues raised at the protest.

“It is a good thing for someone who disagrees with me, it gives them the right if they are a law-abiding citizen to be able to defend themselves, so they should be siding with us saying hey if there is a bad guy out there, I have a right to defend myself,” stated Hester.

“We have that misconception that the good guy with the gun that magically stops violence, that’s disingenuous, dangerous and it encourages meeting violence with violence instead of with peace,” said one of the organizers, Harold Hughes.

Hester claimed that even though they disagree, everyone should feel like they belong.

Organizers expressed hope that lawmakers will pay attention to them and take action to effect change.

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