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Amend the Constitution: Corporations are not Persons and Money is not Speech

2013 Action of Immediate Witness

BECAUSE Unitarian Universalists believe in the inherent worth and dignity of every human person, and in the use of the democratic process in society at large, and because approval of the 2011 AIW opposing Citizens United paved the way for the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) to take the spiritual lead in the passage of a constitutional amendment to establish that corporations are not persons and money is not free speech;

WHEREAS, a series of U.S. Supreme Court rulings have established corporations as persons, equated money with speech, and eliminated limits on amounts that corporations can contribute to political campaigns and political advertising;

WHEREAS, these court-created doctrines have flooded the political landscape with unprecedented amounts of money from corporations and other interests, corrupting our democratic processes and putting the entire democracy at risk;

WHEREAS, Article V of the U.S. Constitution provides for amendments to the Constitution, a process that has occurred 27 times including seven constitutional amendments that have overturned U.S. Supreme Court decisions;

WHEREAS, there are pending proposals in Congress and states that need action NOW to achieve passage of an amendment;

WHEREAS, the Unitarian Universalists for a Just Economic Community, UUA Board of Trustees, the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, and various congregations have already endorsed a constitutional amendment; and

WHEREAS, an amendment to the Constitution is needed to overturn Citizens United and eliminate both corporate personhood and money as speech;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the 2013 General Assembly instructs the UUA to make its endorsement formal and public, supporting the efforts to amend the Constitution; and

BE IT RESOLVED that the 2013 General Assembly further requests member congregations to pass resolutions that support and endorse a constitutional amendment to establish that corporations are not persons and money is not speech; and

BE IT FUTHER RESOLVED that the 2013 General Assembly encourages Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministries nationwide and other affiliated Unitarian Universalist organizations to join this important cause.

Working together with other groups and other faith traditions, we can make a significant impact to further the progress of a constitutional amendment to preserve the constitutional rights that our founding fathers intended solely for human persons, restore the effective voice of the people, and save our democracy.

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For more information contact socialjustice@uua.org.