While the precise motivation for the rampage remains unclear, it is evident that Mr. Mateen was driven by hatred toward gays and lesbians.
He targeted gays deliberately. That much is certain.
Hate crimes don’t happen in a vacuum.
Hate crime? What’s a hate crime? This was mass murder.
They occur where bigotry is allowed to fester, where minorities are vilified and where people are scapegoated for political gain.
Hate crimes happen when expressing your opinion for something is deemed to be hateful by lawmakers. What is hateful is not fixed? Do you hate gays (wrong) or do you hate people tho hate gay marriage (fine)?
Tragically, this is the state of American politics, driven too often by Republican politicians who see prejudice as something to exploit, not extinguish.