Have you started to plan your Transgender Day of Remembrance vigil? Stories like that of Chloe Lacey exemplify the need to speak out. Chloe was a trans teen in CA who ended her life, partly out of bullying fears.
You can sign up to host an vigil and get more information here:
On Nov. 1st the State of Arizona will be taking its appeal of the injunction issued in July by US District Court Judge Susan Bolton against key provisions of SB1070 to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals hearing in San Francisco. Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona will be attending the hearing as her lawyers seek to convince the judges to let the state of Arizona enforce its new immigration law.
Our partners in Alto Arizona!, Puente Arizona, NDLON (National Day Laborer Organizing Network), and interfaith allies are calling again for those people wearing yellow Standing on the Side of Love T-shirts, placards, and banners to be out in force at an interfaith vigil that morning to witness against this inhumane law.
Suzi Spangenberg at Starr King School of Ministry is organizing a Standing on the Side of Love contingent to be part of the interfaith witness. Contact her at http://www.facebook.com/soozarty or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See the Alto Arizona! invitation below – with details on time and place in English and Spanish. Be sure to send us photos, updates and notes to email@example.com. For everyone who will be live tweeting, please use the “#sideoflove” hashtag. To share photos with SSL via twitter, please tweet your photos to @sideoflove.
Alto Arizona! Alto Poli-Migra! Nov 1st Day of Action
Interfaith Vigil of SB 1070 Court Hearing
Monday, November 1, 2010
Meet at St Patrick’s Church, 756 Mission St, San Francisco at 8 a.m.
March to U.S. Court of Appeals, 95 7th St, San Francisco
Hearing begins at 9 a.m.
*Post-Action Teach-In and Exchange Monday, November 1, 10:30am-1:30pm
For more info contact Andrea Mercado firstname.lastname@example.org
SB1070 Art Exhibit Grand Opening
Monday November 1, 5:00pm-7:00pm
The Mission Cultural Center
Alto Arizona! Alto Poli-Migra!
1 de Noviembre Dia de Accion
*Vigilia durante audiencia de SB1070
Lunes, 1 de noviembre, 2010 8:00am-10:00am
Reunir en la Iglesia St Patrick, 756 Mission St, San Francisco
Marchar a la Corte Federal de Apelaciones, 95 7th St, San Francisco
Para endosar contactar a Rev Deborah Lee email@example.com
*Reunion y Intercambio Lunes 1 de Noviembre, 10:30am-1:30pm
Lugar a ser determinado
Para mas informacion contactar a Andrea Mercado firstname.lastname@example.org
*Exhibicion de arte sobre SB1070
Lunes 1 de Noviembre, 5:00pm-7:00pm
The Mission Cultural Center
Members of the SSL Community, including a number of UU Congregations and Ministers, have continued to speak out for an end to anti-gay bullying and harassment. Check out how we are making a difference!
It Gets Better
Gawker’s feminist web zine Jezebel picked the “It Gets Better” You Tube Video Channel of former SSL campaign chair Rev. Meg Riley as one of its top 15 favorites, along with Pres. Obama & House Speaker Pelosi. Don’t miss her poignant message of faith, community, universal justice, and love.
Rev. Debra Haffner, Exec. Director of the Religious Institute, a non-profit faith and religious based organization committed to sexual justice, offers an important message to her fellow faith leaders.
Lucy Liams wrote in her Letter to the Editor in the Utica Observer-Dispatch on October 18:
No loving God would give anyone the gift of life and of love only to punish or humiliate them. Children grow up to love whomever they will and to express their gender identities in ways that are not choices, but who they know themselves to be. Unitarian Univeralists stand on the side of love.
Witnessing on the Side of Love
Several SSL’ers participated in the Third Annual Marriage Equality New York Capital Region Wedding March, asking for the New York legislature to pass a marriage equality bill. Reported the Troy Record:
Susan Danielson and her 15-year-old son Paul, both members of the Unitarian Society, wore yellow T-shirts promoting Standing on the Side of Love, a Unitarian Universalist Association initiative that, according to its website, “seeks to harness love’s power to stop oppression.” Danielson said that marriage equality is a big issue for the Unitarian congregation.
“It’s unfair to deny the rights of a significant chunk of the population,” she said.
Click here to read the full article from the Troy Record.
In Sarasota, Florida, UU Minister Rev. Dee Graham offered eloquent words at a candlelight vigil. The local Herald-Tribune reported:
Those tragedies motivated about 150 people to attend an anti-bullying protest and candlelight vigil Sunday evening on the Sarasota bayfront organized by Campus Ministries, Sarasota Pride and the Faith Communities of the Gulfcoast Affirming Interfaith Network.
“We are here to say we will stand together in love,” said the Rev. Dee Graham, chaplain for several local colleges. “There is hope, ” Graham said. “There is a tomorrow. There is a greater love in the world and we’re here to witness to that. “
I participated today in a “Wedding March” for marriage equality. We gathered at the Irish Mist in Troy then marched along Second Avenue through Russel Sage to the Farmers Market next to the old city hall. Then we marched past the soon to be completed Dinosaur Bar-B-Que to the Troy Chowder Fest chanting, “What do we want?” “Marriage Equality!” “When do we want it?” “Now!” We had a good contingent of Unitarian Universalists all wearing Standing on the Side of Love T-Shirts. Check out Marriage Equality for New York to learn more about future actions.
Our abolitionist ancestors fought to change laws. Subsequent generations took equality’s cause to the hearts and minds of America. Our calling now may be similar — to transform the hearts and minds of America toward tolerance of gay, lesbian, transgendered and bisexual family, friends, and neighbors. This could save lives. The stakes are very high. If that is our calling, it is incredibly relevant…
…If we live our foundational beliefs in the worth of every soul, the dignity of every person by addressing these frontiers, future generations may regard us as giants, sit upon our shoulders, and cast visions into futures we cannot foresee. We might be giants, or we might be standing on the shoulders those whose theology and advocacy raised us up. In either case, there is work to be done, hearts to be won, lives to be saved.
This week we from the Univeralist Unitarian Church of Waterville, Maine supported a production of the Laramie Project by the Open Book Players at Johnson Hall in Gardiner, Maine. I wore my SSL shirt. The players had been contacted by the Westboro, Kansas Baptist Church with a hate message and to say they’d be picketing.
When their message was publicized, the show completely sold out and extra seats were brought in for an excellent show. What an interesting play. Westboro didn’t show up. Maybe they went to the showing in Massachusetts instead. But as we came in, the producer of the play declared how happy she was to see a loving church group.
An excellent commentary entitled “God bless sanity in religion and in politics” appeared in today’s Washington Post On Faith Blog. The piece, written by Susan Brooks Thistlewaite, offers special mention to the Standing on the Side of Love Campaign, and poses important questions about “reason” and “sanity” vs. religious belief.
Susan Brooks Thislethwaite
“This is what the progressive traditions have in common–the absolute ethical priority of love of neighbor over tribe or even nation state. It is the very root of a sane approach to the world, and, as Hedges emphasizes, a bedrock concept for “the great ethical systems of our civilization.” In other words, God bless sanity, in religion and in politics.”
She speaks to the very ideals that rest at the core of the SSL campaign:
“And doing a follow up question, that is, what do those who hold those religious beliefs actually do in the world? A religious belief doesn’t just sit there; you have to take it out for at test drive in the real world to know what it’s actually like.”
“A question I always ask about any set of beliefs, whether religious or secular, is what do those who hold these beliefs do as a consequence? Do those beliefs increase the amount of love, joy, peace, tolerance and simple kindness in the world?“
The author gives special mention to her own denomination, the United Church of Christ, which is known for its progressive values and social justices stances. She also mentions our own Standing on the Side of Love campaign:
“Also, in terms of joyous progressive values, check out the Unitarian Universalist “Standing on the Side of Love” campaign that just celebrated its first anniversary. It was launched in 2009 at that denomination’s National Meeting. The purpose of the campaign is “to harness the power of love to stop oppression, exclusion, and violence based on people’s identity.”
Irrational? I don’t think so. But these churches are doing work that is powerful, inclusive and inspiring, and, in my view, joyously sane. And God bless ‘em.
We couldn’t agree more!
Click here to read the full commentary at the Washington Post Online.