UUs engage with election, and other UUs in the media

UUs engage with election, politics

Ami Bera may be helping to add some religious diversity to Congress by getting elected in California. A California doctor who was raised Hindu, Bera now identifies as a UU, according to the Hindu American Foundation. (Washington Post – 11.7.12) As of November 8, Bera held a 184-vote lead over the incumbent, Rep. Dan Lungren, who had not yet conceded the race. (Sacramento Bee – 11.8.12)
The only UU currently serving in the House of Representatives, Rep. Pete Stark of Fremont, Calif., lost his bid for re-election (Mercury News – 11.7.12). Sen. Kent Conrad of North Dakota, the only UU in the Senate, is retiring at the end of this session.

UUA President the Rev. Peter Morales wrote a blog about how, in the wake of the latest election, UUs must look to the future and not be afraid. (Huffington Post – 11.8.12)

On election day, to show her support for the Civil Marriage Protection Act, Katherine McCann, a member of the UU Congregation of Frederick, Md., joined other of members of the congregation’s Social and Environmental Justice Committee to hand out fliers in support of Question 6 to voters. (Gazette.net: Maryland Community News Online – 11.6.12)

The Rev. Todd Eklof, minister of the UU Church of Spokane, Wash., said that he is willing to perform weddings again if the measure to uphold same-sex marriage in Washington passed. Eklof has not performed a marriage ceremony since 2004, when Kentucky, where he used to live, banned same-sex couples from marrying. (Northwest Cable News – 11.7.12)

Bill Maher recapped the 2012 election and said of Romney, “By Tuesday, he’ll be insisting he’s always been a staunchly pro-gay Unitarian who hates corporations, is proud of his Latino heritage, and doesn’t want old white men telling him what he can’t do with his vagina.” (PoliticusUSA – 11.3.12)

London church denied license for same-sex ceremonies

The Newington Green Unitarian Church in London, U.K., was denied a license to conduct same-sex civil partnership after failing a fire risk assessment. Had the Fire Authority granted the license, it would have become the first religious building in London to host same-sex civil partnerships. The church’s minister, the Rev. Andy Pakula, expressed frustration that while he must update the church with new fire exits and smoke detectors in order to marry same-sex couples, he does not need these things to continue to marry heterosexual couples, an issue he considers “absurd.” (EastLondonLines – 11.3.12, Gay Star News – 11.7.12)

‘Robust kindness,’ shelter from the cold, and more

The Rev. Elizabeth Linton Greene, minister at Boise UU Fellowship in Garden City, Idaho, wrote an article about “robust kindness” and the kind of courage it takes to achieve it. (Idaho Statesman – 11.3.12)

The UU Fellowship of the Emerald Coast in Valparaiso, Fla., is joining other churches in providing cold-weather shelters. (The Northwest Florida Daily News – 11.4.12)

In response to discrimination against LGBT and agnostic/atheist youth and leaders in such groups as the Boy Scouts of America, the UU Church of Ogden, Utah, has formed a co-ed, non-discriminatory scouting program, part of Navigators USA. (Standard.net – 11.2.12)

See also:
Scouting alternatives draw UU youth
(uuworld.org – 9.21.07)
Alternative scouting group starts to grow
(uuworld.org – 3.14.11)

Parents at the Unitarian Church of Staten Island, N.Y., have decided to provide middle school students with a course the the UUA’s Our Whole Lives (OWL) sexuality education program to give “a more complete approach to their sexuality with a broad base of information.” (SIlive.com – 11.6.12)