A candlelight vigil will be held tonight in Columbia in a show of solidarity with those affected by the shooting that killed 49 victims at an Orlando, Florida LGBT nightclub.

A candlelight vigil (photo courtesy; FBI)

A candlelight vigil (photo courtesy; FBI)

Mid-Missouri Pridefest president Dustin Hampton is one of the organizers of tonight’s We Are Orlando vigil.

“The message tonight is really one of solidarity of the LGBT community. The horrific things didn’t happen to us here in Columbia but we still share the sorrow and the horror and the hurt, and it affected the community as a whole,” said Hampton.

He told Missourinet even though it happened more than 1,100 miles away, the shooting touched lives everywhere.

“It’s a reminder that hate still exists and that people are targeted just because of who they are innately and that there’s a lot of work still to be done,” said Hampton. “We have marriage equality, but there’s a lot of work still to be done in education when it comes to acceptance and tolerance.”

Hampton hasn’t sought increased security for the vigil.

“Columbia Police Department is aware that we will be having the candlelight vigil and they may have stepped up security, but that’s more on their response than our request,” said Hampton.

Hampton expects about 100 people but hopes more will turn out. The vigil begins at 8 at the Boone County Courthouse Amphitheater.

Other groups involved in organizing the vigil include:  The Center Project, Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbia, Rock Bridge Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), MU Counseling Center, MU LGBTQ Resource Center, MU Triangle Coalition, MU Fluidity, MU Queer Trans People of Color, MU Missouri Students Association (MSA).

Vigils were held yesterday in St. Louis and Kansas City, and one is planned for Friday in Springfield.