Last week, Unitarian Universalists throughout the country showed up in support of LGBTQ people in Indiana as they contested the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). We know that Indiana’s bill is just one in a series of recent of bills nationally that dehumanize people, limit their protection under the law and will impact civil rights, LGBTQ rights, reproductive justice, healthcare access and more. Because several state legislatures are considering similar bills, we encourage you to stay up to date with your UU State Advocacy Network (see if there is one in your state here) or other trusted voter awareness groups in your state.
Over twenty UU clergy in Indiana, along with many other UU Ministers, issued a statement in response to the RFRA.
“Ours is a faith tradition that has long supported the rights of all, including same-sex couples. Already under Indiana law, no faith or religion is forced to marry same-sex couples or recognize same-sex marriage within the context of its religious beliefs. As people of faith, we affirm that the right to both believe in our faith and to act on our beliefs is fundamental and protected in the state and federal constitutions. We also know that our faith does not give us the right to ignore laws or to harm others.” You can read their full statement here.
UU congregations have been showing up in many ways- through press, advocacy, increased visibility affirming status as Welcoming Congregations, relationship building with local LGBTQ equity groups and more. Check out a few photos of UUs showing up for equity last week.
UU Church of Bloomington, All Souls Unitarian Church Indiannapolis & First Unitarian Church of Hobart
In addition, many UU congregations are joining the statewide campaign Open for Service- to show current and future attendees and community members public support for the LGBTQ community.
While there are sadly many copycat bills like this in several other states, we know it makes a difference when we raise our voices together. Just last week, the Governor of Arkansas refused to sign a similar bill into law until it was modified, when residents and major corporations in the state, like Wal-Mart, urged him not to sign it. Indeed, because people all across the country are raising their voices that it is not ok to discriminate, we are seeing signs of positive legislation affirming rights and equity. But the work is not over! Are you taking action for LGBTQ equity in your home state? We want to hear about it! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In love & justice,
Nora Rasman, Campaign Coordinator, Standing on the Side of Love