Women’s Rights 2003 Action of Immediate Witness

WHEREAS our Unitarian Universalist Principles call upon us to affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person and to seek justice, equity, and compassion in human relations; and

WHEREAS in the past four decades the Unitarian Universalist Association and its member congregations have consistently spoken and acted in support of the broad spectrum of women’s rights, including women’s right to control their own bodies, receive equal pay for comparable work, and be safe from domestic violence;

WHEREAS on June 4, 2003, the House passed a federal ban on so-called “partial-birth abortion,” the Senate has approved a similar ban, and President Bush has promised to sign the new version of the bill; and

WHEREAS this is only the latest effort in the Bush Administration’s attempts to erode gains women have made in recent decades, attempts which include

  • Appointing people hostile to feminism to federal courts and other key positions affording the power to affect women’s lives,
  • Using federal dollars to promote marriage rather than job training for poor women,
  • Tacking abstinence-only-until-marriage sexuality education onto obscure bills,
  • Withdrawing funding of women’s offices in federal agencies in the name of budget cutting, and
  • Attempting to circumvent existing legislation, such as the proposal to amend guidelines to Title IX (which mandates equity for women in all educational programs, not just sports) to allow "a reasonable variance" from the standard of true equity for women;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association be encouraged to

  • Hold public forums about federal court appointments to inform us about the federal judicial appointment process and what those appointments may mean for women’s rights;
  • Contribute to the Unitarian Universalist Women’s Federation Clara Barton Internship for Women’s Rights, which will help keep Unitarian Universalists informed on these issues; and
  • Participate in the March for Reproductive Freedom planned for April 25, 2004, in Washington, DC; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the UUA Washington Office for Advocacy be encouraged to keep congregations informed on judicial nominees and their records on women’s rights, so that Unitarian Universalists may share concerns with their elected officials.