Harnessing Love’s Power
to Stop Oppression

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Press Release

Unitarian Universalist Association Launches ‘Standing on the Side of Love’

Unitarians Respond to Identity-Based Violence at Knoxville Congregation
with Outward-Looking Nationwide Campaign

Boston, Mass. – Standing on the Side of Love is a new campaign aimed at delivering the message that no one should be dehumanized through acts of exclusion, oppression or violence because of his or her identity. The campaign, which promotes respect for the inherent worth and dignity of every person, is sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) and was launched at its General Assembly meeting in Salt Lake City in June of 2009.

The campaign was conceived in response to a shooting at a Knoxville, Tenn. Unitarian Universalist Church where two churchgoers were killed and seven others injured by a gunman who opened fire during a performance of “Annie.” The gunman’s motive was to kill “liberalisms’ foot soldiers” [sic].

“It is clear our nation is suffering through an epidemic of identity-based violence and oppression,” says Peter Morales, president of the Unitarian Universalist Association. “Our response to these heinous acts must be personal. We must stand on the side of love, in solidarity with those who are targeted based on their identity.”

Based on Unitarian Universalism’s aspirations to create a beloved community, grounded in the principle of the inherent worth and dignity of all people, the campaign will pursue change through advocacy, public witness and speaking out in solidarity with those whose lives are publicly demeaned.

The religious point of view has too often been ceded to those who use religion to shut people out, but American history would not have progressed on any social issues without people of faith who fought for justice and who continue to do so.

Standing on the Side of Love continues the UUA’s long tradition of working to expand who is included when religious people speak of beloved community. The UUA’s record encompasses women’s ordination and suffrage, education reform and economic justice.

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Standing on the Side of Love is a campaign sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Association, promoting respect for the inherent worth and dignity of every person. We stand with all who share our belief that no person of any immigrant status, race, religion, gender and sexual orientation or political view should be dehumanized through acts of exclusion, oppression or violence. For more information visit www.standingonthesideoflove.org.

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