UUA Director of Advocacy and Witness Issues Statement on Signing of Hate Crimes Bill
Today Rev. Meg Riley, Standing on the Side of Love national spokesperson and Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Director of Advocacy and Witness, praised President Barack Obama for signing into law the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act as part of the Department of Defense (DOD) Authorization (H.R. 2647) to strengthen federal protection against hate crimes.
“This law respects the right of every American to embrace his or her identity and live as we were created,” said Riley. “As people of faith, we celebrate the signing of this Act because it embraces, defends, and shepherds some of the most oppressed and excluded members of our society and reflects our responsibility to protect all people, regardless of their identities. This is a signal, particularly to LBGT [lesbian, bisexual, gay, and transgender] people, that it is not acceptable for people to hate us and bully us just because of who we are.”
“Today, our nation’s elected officials have powerfully advanced not just long-overdue legal protections, but our moral leadership. We applaud them for acting to prevent hate-based crimes and standing on the side of love with millions of Americans across the country.”
The Unitarian Universalist Association is a faith community of more than 1,000 self-governing congregations that bring to the world a vision of religious freedom, tolerance and social justice. For more information on the UUA, including recent press releases and news articles, please visit our press room.
Standing on the Side of Love is a campaign sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Association and promotes respect for the inherent worth and dignity of every person. We believe that no person of any immigrant status, race, religion, gender and sexual orientation, ability level, or political view should be dehumanized through acts of exclusion, oppression, or violence.
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