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.

—  Anna Waugh