Two active-duty U.S. Marines are under investigation Friday after uploading a photo to social media in which they allegedly threatened to attack gay bars.
The picture was shared in a Facebook private group of male marines called “Camp MENdleton resale.” It features a man holding a military rifle with his finger poised on the trigger with a caption that reads, “Coming to a gay bar near you!”
The post has alerted authorities, especially since it comes after last Saturday’s massacre at a gay bar in Orlando, considered to be the country's worst mass shooting by a lone gunman in modern history.
The California-based I Marine Expeditionary Force, or MEF, is leading the investigation and said it has already identified the marine in the picture and the one who posted it on Facebook, according to the Marine Corps Times.
“We cannot discuss details of an ongoing investigation, but I can tell you the command is taking this incident seriously… The Marine Corps does not tolerate discrimination based on sexual orientation, race, gender or religion," a spokesman for I MEF said to the military news outlet.
Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old man that U.S. officials claim was inspired by a mix of radical Islamic propaganda and anti-gay hatred, shot and killed 49 people at a gay nightclub on June 12.
The attack is seen as targeting the broader LGBT community, which is celebrating a month of pride festivities. The incident took place in Orlando at the Pulse Club, a gay nightclub that was hosting a weekly Latin Night with three Latino DJs playing bachata, merengue and salsa music.
The club, which was popular with a diverse crowd, was founded to honor the owner's brother who died of AIDS and to support the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
U.S. President Barack Obama met on Thursday with families of the victims as he renewed calls for gun control legislation and demanded the Senate reconsider gun safety legislation that was rejected in 2012.