LEADER RESOURCE 5 Membership Debate Scenarios

Make a copy of this resource and cut it in half, the PRO section on one half and the CON section on the other half.

PRO:

It is 1963, in Chicago, and you are delegates to the UUA's General Assembly. You support an amendment to the UUA's Constitution and Bylaws that would require congregations to maintain an open, nondiscriminatory membership policy in order to qualify for voting at General Assembly. You feel this is the best way to achieve the racial inclusion in our congregations. You believe it is appropriate that congregations "step up to the plate" in this way, even if the amendment strikes some as a violation of congregational polity. You think that, despite the logistics of the UUA's Board of Trustees trying to adequately certify the compliance of over 1,000 congregations each year, the benefits far outweigh any efforts.

CON:

It is 1963, in Chicago, and you are delegates to the UUA's General Assembly. You do not support an amendment to the UUA's Constitution and Bylaws that would require congregations to maintain an open, nondiscriminatory membership policy in order to qualify for voting at General Assembly. You are in total sympathy with the intentions expressed in the amendment, but you are opposed to the method being used to accomplish the goal of racial desegregation. You believe this proposal would inappropriately allow the Association to set conditions on membership and voting. While you see the legitimate concerns behind this move, you believe the proposed method for achieving it is unworkable and represents an infringement on congregational polity.

For more information contact religiouseducation@uua.org.

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