Pulse victim's mother speaks at DNC

Christine Leinonen embraces a mourner outside the Cathedral Church of St. Luke following son's funeral service. AP Photo by David Goldman.

by Sarah Boone
Journalism Intern

At the Democratic National Convention today, a mother of a Pulse shooting victim spoke.

Christine Leinonen, mother of Pulse shooting victim, Christopher, opened with, “Last month, my son Christopher, his boyfriend Juan, and 47 others were murdered at a club in Orlando.”

She said that Christopher won an Ann Frank Humanitarian award for forming a Gay Straight Alliance in high school.

Leinonen said that her son’s paternal parents met in a Japanese internment camp so “it was in his DNA that love always trumps hate.”

She continued, “Christopher was a big Hillary supporter. That’s why I’m here, so that I can tell  you about the day he was born.

“At the time, I was a Michigan state trooper. When I went to labor, the hospital put my off duty gun in a safe. I didn’t argue. I know common sense gun policies save lives.”

She said, “I’m glad a common sense gun policy was put into place the day he was born, but where was that common sense policy the day he died?

"I never want you to ask that question about your child. That’s why I support Hillary Clinton.”

Her speech was the first time the entire crowd was silent. Once she had finished, people of the crowd wiped away their tears, stood, and cheered.


Sara Ritsch contributed to this article.
The Gayly - 7/27/2016 @ 7:06 p.m. CDT