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GAG Participates in LGBT Community Conversation on Gun Violence Prevention in Nation's Capital

Photo: Cathy Marino-Thomas (wrapped in flag) attends rally in Washington DC led by Rep. John Lewis.

Editor's Note: Cathy Marino-Thomas, Steering Committee member working on Coalition Building for GAG, attended a meeting in our nation's capital on Thursday, July 14, 2016. She filed this this report

Dateline: July 14, 2016

Eisenhower Executive Office Building, Washington DC

Hey GAGers!

This week, GAG was invited to a meeting in Washington, DC coordinating with other gun violence prevention groups. The meeting took place in the White House Complex and was led by two of our President’s Liaisons – Raffi Freedman-Gurspan, Associate Director of Public Engagement, and Bess Evans, Associate Director of Public Engagement and Senior Policy Advisor on the Domestic Policy Council.

We were happy to be included. I am the Steering Committee member working on Coalition Building for GAG, so, I attended.

Also in attendance were gun violence prevention (GVP) groups: Americans for Responsible Solutions, Brady Campaign, Center for American Progress, Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, Everytown and States United to Prevent Gun Violence. LGBT groups in attendance were: GAG, Family Equality Council and HRC.

Each GVP gave a recap of what their organizations were working on. Expanding laws around background checks and banning assault weapons were a common thread. There will be a rally in Washington DC on August 13 kicking off a two week stretch of actions around gun violence protection around the country. This timeframe will be concluded with additional rallies sponsored by the National Action Network on Aug. 27-28.

The LGBT groups were welcomed with open arms. Each of us gave a short overview of our organizations and what we do. When I spoke about GAG, everyone was excited to hear about our organic beginnings and our intended work.

This committee will be ongoing. Likely meeting every month or so. I’ll keep you posted on its progress, intent and how you can help.

After the meeting, I was able to attend the rally that Sen. John Lewis put together on the West Lawn of the White House. I have to tell you, it filled my heart. I was so happy to be able to be there. Nancy Pelosi and many supportive Democratic leaders in our House and Senate spoke as did many families that have lost loved ones – that really broke me up!

I met a couple of DC LGBT activists and urged them to join GAG’s efforts! I had my picture taken with our GAG sign for the rally photo collection. It was a great experience.

If you’d like to help me with coalition building for GAG, please reach out to me at I could use the help!!!

Many thanks, GAGers! See you in the streets.

Cathy Marino-Thomas

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