By Sarah Begley
June 13, 2016

After Omar Mateen opened fire on a gay nightclub in Orlando, leaving 49 victims dead, his father told reporters that his son had recently become enraged by the sight of two men kissing—implying that the incident may have played some kind of motivating role in the attack.

Soon, the hashtag #TwoMenKissing made the rounds on social media, but as a symbol of hope rather than hate.

Gay men and allies of the LGBTQ community posted photos of pairs of men embracing alongside the hashtag, accompanied by messages like “We won’t back down” and “Because we deserve respect.”

Also making the rounds: #TwoWomenKissing and #PrideMonth, celebrating June as a celebration of LGBTQ pride.

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