Harnessing Love’s Power
to Stop Oppression

Standing on the Side of Love Talking Points

Please use these suggested talking points for interviews and to draft op-eds, letters-to-the-editor, media advisories, press releases, and other materials for public distribution.

General Campaign

  • We believe in the inherent worth and dignity of all people. Everyone deserves respect and love for who they are.
  • Right now, both love and fear are rising up in our nation. We stand on the side of love. We harness love’s power to stop oppression, exclusion, and violence against people who are targeted because of their identity.
  • We are working to build a society where the color of our skin, the conditions of our birth, who we love, how we worship, and how we express our gender do not determine our worth, rights, and opportunities.
  • Our elected leaders have a responsibility to unify and advance our communities, not engage in scapegoating or divide neighbor from neighbor.
  • We are all created in God’s image. People of every faith honor God by honoring the diversity of God’s creation.
  • We believe that the essence of the individual is not based upon outward appearances. No one should be judged based on the size, shape, or functionality of their body. We celebrate the diversity of creation, including intersex bodies and transgender identities, and the gifts of differently-abled people of all shapes and sizes.

Power of Community

  • When we stand on the side of love, we commit to recognizing the common threads in the justice struggles of marginalized communities, and to remaining steadfast in our work to support these communities.Through our collective commitment to justice, we live out our faith in a better world, and we do so with patience, with hope, and with conviction that our collective love is far more powerful than fear—indeed, more powerful than anything else in the world.
  • When we wear Standing on the Side of Love shirts and carry signs and banners, we are telling everyone who sees us, including young people, that no matter how imperfectly we embody it, love is the reason we get up in the morning and standing on the side of love is our aspiration.
  • There is no easy fix to the numerous ‘phobias’ and ‘isms’ that plague society. This is why Standing on the Side of Love is such a meaningful campaign for us. It’s why we continue, day in and day out, to do what we can to stand with those who face exclusion. It is why we seek to live our lives in the most loving frame possible.
  • We lift up stories of courageous love and recognize those whose words and deeds exemplify the values of inclusion, diversity, community, and equality.

Gender Identity & Sexual Orientation

  • Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people bring special gifts and perspectives to our communities and we celebrate their presence as a blessing and a gift.
  • All people, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity/expression, deserve respect, love, dignity, and equal rights and opportunities.
  • As long as anyone is judged because of their gender identity or sexual orientation, we must insist on a higher moral standard.
  • The process of honoring one’s own divine spark and living as one’s most authentic self is a spiritual journey that takes courage and strength, and should be respected and honored.
  • Love is a gift from God. No loving God would give anyone a gift in order to punish or humiliate them.
  • The covenant of marriage is a sacred trust between two individuals. Any couple able to forge that bond deserves the legal benefits of marriage as well as the ability to express that sacred trust freely and equally in our society.
  • An individual’s decisions about their own body and gender expression should be respected and affirmed, whether it is their preferred name and pronouns, medical intervention, or reproductive choices.

Immigration

  • As people of faith, we are called to stand with the vulnerable and the oppressed. We are called to love our neighbors and welcome the stranger.
  • Our immigration system is taking children from their parents, removing promising students from the only country they have ever known, and tearing our nation apart. Any system that breaks up families is itself broken.
  • Hospitality is central to spiritual life. The inhospitality and cruelty shown to immigrants today weakens our nation’s soul.
  • As neighbors, we must offer refuge to weary travelers, not declare that there is no room at the inn.
  • We commit to seeking and sharing the truth of United States history, foreign policy, and trade treaties that have contributed to the migration to this country. We call for new ways of being and relating that will give affected peoples greater agency and opportunities in their home communities.
  • We call for an end to human rights abuses perpetrated against migrants, an end to laws that spur racial profiling and collectively punish foreign-born individuals living in this country, and for the passage of humane, comprehensive immigration reform that offers a pathway to citizenship for undocumented individuals in this country.

Religious Freedom

  • Standing on the Side of Love is an interfaith campaign sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Association. Our movement is comprised of people of many faiths, people with many different beliefs in God, as well as people who identify as atheist, agnostic, and non-theistic.
  • America was founded on the idea of religious freedom, and thus discrimination against people based on their religion is counter to our national identity.
  • American Muslims have contributed to our communities and country in important ways for generations; their presence enriches our society. As long as American Muslims are stereotyped and discriminated against, we must insist on a higher moral standard.
  • As people of faith, we honor the many diverse forms of religious belief that contribute to our society and we stand in opposition to religion-based bigotry.

Ableism

  • Ableism, like sexism, racism, heterosexism, and ageism, is alive and real in our culture; as in all forms of oppression, language is one of its most powerful tools for changing behavior and opening minds. While “Standing on the Side of Love” has become a popular slogan inspiring movements for justice, sermons, and songs, we acknowledge that the language of “standing” feels alienating for some who are differently abled. We affirm that “standing” is something we can all do in spirit, and as part of our commitment to community, we will strive to constantly think about ways that our campaign, its focus, and its language can be more respectful and inclusive of all people.

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