from the ELCA advocacy office in Washington, D.C. – the Rev. Amy E. Reumann, Senior Director
Partial expanded content from Advocacy Connections: November/December 2022
HOMELESSNESS AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING AWARENESS | GLOBAL FOOD SECURITY ACTION | STATUS OF TITLE 42 | WORLD AIDS DAY DEMANDS ATTENTION | RESPECT FOR MARRIAGE ACT
HOMELESSNESS AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING AWARENESS: In January, the ELCA Witness in Society office will be hand-delivering invitations to members of Congress to encourage lawmakers to visit Lutheran ministries actively addressing homelessness and poverty in their district.
Interested Lutheran ministries which would like to host a site visit with a lawmaker through the January outreach should contact firstname.lastname@example.org. This distribution will come after the Homeless Remembrance Blanket Project art display and press event on the West Lawn of the Capitol in D.C. Dec. 21 in which several synods, congregations and Lutherans are taking part through blanket making, interviews, logistics and viewing, highlighting similar issues to invited lawmakers. At the time of writing, over 1,500 blankets have been committed to the event—which will cover a considerable amount of area along the West Lawn of the Capitol. This event will be shared via podcast through organizers and national press is anticipated. Lutheran Advocacy Ministry in Pennsylvania in our state public policy office network, which has been active in local events in prior years and this year’s national stage, shares more information here.
GLOBAL FOOD SECURITY ACTION: As a major producer of grains and oil seeds, we are encouraged by the 120-day extension of an U.N. backed deal to facilitate Ukraine’s agricultural exports from its southern Black Sea ports.
The agreement creates a protected sea transit corridor and is designed to alleviate global food shortages by allowing exports from three ports in Ukraine. The agreement was initially reached in July between Russia and Ukraine was and was negotiated by the president of Turkey and the U.N. secretary general.
Our ELCA advocacy efforts are also working with advocacy partners to push for passage of the Global Food Security Reauthorization Act in the U.S. Senate. An Action Alert pertaining to this legislation is available to relay your messages. The House passed the bill in September. We anticipate Congress will pass the bill before the end of the year.
STATUS OF TITLE 42: The Department of Justice has announced they plan to appeal a prior court decision (Nov 15) blocking Title 42. Irrespective of this appeal, a block on Title 42 is still on track to become effective Dec. 21.
Title 42 is a section of U.S. code empowers federal health authorities to prohibit migrants from entering the country if it is determined that doing so could prevent the spread of contagious diseases. The Biden Administration is expected to pursue expulsions until the stated date. Reports have circulated claiming that the Biden Administration may revive a “Transit Ban” applicable to single adults (expansion of a process for other nationalities akin to the process for Venezuelans), revamped refugee resettlement and much more in the post-Title 42 landscape. For those seeking safety from persecution, some of these policy proposals would indubitably raise the risk of exposure to danger and raise the difficulty in accessing humanitarian protection. Advocacy efforts will continue to seek to uphold humane principles of border management and protection consistent with AMMPARO and wider ELCA guidance.
WORLD AIDS DAY DEMANDS ATTENTION: The Church Center of the United Nations was site of an Interfaith Service planned with the Lutheran Office for World Community. Keeping the concerning realities of HIV/AIDS before lawmakers is the subject of an available Action Alert issued on World AIDS Day 2022.
This year, World AIDS Day 2022 was marked under the theme Equalize, a call on global leaders and all peoples of goodwill to recognize and address inequalities holding back progress in ending aids. It is critical to equalize access to essential HIV services particularly for children and key populations and their partners.
RESPECT FOR MARRIAGE ACT: The Respect for Marriage Act, with broad bipartisan support, will codify same-sex and interracial marriage protections into law. It passed the U.S. Senate at the end of November, was passed by the House on Dec. 8, and now advances for President Biden’s signature.
The bill was amended to uphold religious protections. ELCA advocacy staff joined several interfaith coalition letters in support of the legislation following its amended markup in the Senate and additionally sent a separate ELCA letter to Capitol Hill highlighting Lutheran social teaching in support of the measure.
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