Cathedral of Hope calls for passage of gun safety laws



A statement from Cathedral of Hope:

Following yesterday’s devastating lack of action from the U.S. Senate, Cathedral of Hope United Church of Christ joins national call to end gun violence and calls for comprehensive gun safety legislation.

Last weekend the LGBT community was the target of what is now known to be worst mass shooting in the history of the United States. The Rev. Neil G Cazares-Thomas, senior pastor said, “Enough is enough. It is beyond time to end gun violence and to implement a comprehensive gun safety laws.

Noting Monday’s (June 20) failure to act, Cazares-Thomas called upon all those who will vote later this year to remember this inaction; to call to account those who fail to serve the desires and wishes of the vast majority of Americans who continue to watch lawmakers fail us on a number of pressing issues in the United States.

“All people should be able to live without fear and this past weekend once again tore away the fabric our society and the sanctuaries that many minorities, including those that LGBT people have created for decades.  Too many people have paid the price for the inadequacy of those protections and for the inaction of Congress,” he said.

Reported LGBT homicides rose by 20 percent in the U.S. between 2014 and 2015, according to a study released this week by The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs. Of the homicides reported last year, 62 percent were LGBT people of color.

The United Church of Christ has long advocated for sensible policies to end gun violence. The UCC 20th General Synod passed a resolution entitled “Violence in Our Society and World,” in which it recognized the complicated and interwoven layers at the root of violence.

That same General Synod also passed a resolution entitled “Guns and Violence,” inviting UCC members and congregations to advocate for legislation to strengthen licensing and registration of gun sales, strengthen regulations of gun dealers and ban semiautomatic assault weapons and high capacity ammunition clips.

As a faith community we once again come together in the aftermath of gun tragedies and urge lawmakers to pass laws that prevent gun violence. Tested by our grief, resolute in our faith we remain committed to continuing this drumbeat.

—  David Taffet

Congressman John Lewis calls on House leadership to bring gun reform vote to the floor

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U.S. Rep. John Lewis, a Democrat from Georgia, is leading a cadre of his colleagues in a sit-in on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, vowing to continue the protest until the Republican House leaders call for a vote on “common sense gun control legislation.”

In an eloquent and impassioned speech before starting the sit-in, Lewis — surrounded by other lawmakers, most of whom, like Lewis, wore rainbow ribbons on their lapels in tribute to the Orlando murder victims — Lewis accused Congress of having “turned deaf ears to the blood of the innocent.” He continued, “Where is the heart of this body? Where is our soul? Where is our moral leadership? Where is our courage?”

Lewis declared that “the time for silence and patience is long gone. We’re calling on the leadership of the House to bring common sense gun control legislation to the House floor for a vote Give us a vote! Let us vote! We came here to do our job. …

“We will be silent no more. The time for silence is over.”

Watch the video of his speech below:

—  Tammye Nash

Mayor Rawlings mentions ‘sexual orientation’ in domestic violence speech, calls pledges ‘baloney’

Rawlings.MikeMayor Mike Rawlings announced efforts to battle domestic violence during a press conference Monday at City Hall, highlighting a violent culture and mental illness as the main causes of violence.

“We somehow act as if violence is an accepted normal,” Rawlings said. “It’s just the way we live. We’re just a violent society.”

He said violence is everywhere, from schoolyard bullying to child abuse and “simple jerks [who] decide to assault people who are not like them because of their sexual orientation, their skin color or just because they’re a weak target.”

But Rawlings focused primarily on male-on-female violence that is perpetuated in video games, TV shows, dialogue in locker rooms, and among fathers and sons. Instead of acknowledging that violence is also male-on-male and female-on-female in LGBT relationships, he focused on men who “have been the violent gender over the centuries.”

“We must come together as men in Dallas, Texas, and say that hitting a woman is not acceptable. Strangling a woman is not acceptable,” Rawlings said.

Rawlings later said Dallas would consider the impact of having gun shows at the city-operated Omni Dallas Convention Center Hotel. When asked about his refusal to sign a pledge against gun violence, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, he reportedly said he didn’t sign because “signing those pledges are baloney,” the Dallas Morning News reports. He said instead of signing the pledge, he wanted to focus on raising the public’s awareness of the issue.

When Rawlings refused to sign a pledge in support of same-sex marriage last January, he also said he wanted to focus on more substantive issues.

—  Dallasvoice