In the midst of COVID-19 and crucial anti-racism protests nationwide, I’m grateful to be able to share with you the good news from the Supreme Court today. In a 6-3 decision the court upheld our Unitarian Universalist values that LGBTQ+ Americans have the same inherent worth and dignity as everyone. As Unitarian Universalists, ending discrimination against LGBTQ+ people at work and everywhere is the goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice.
Why It Matters
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic and vitally important nationwide demonstrations in support of Black lives and against systemic racism, these decisions are heartening and encouraging. As a black queer minister living with HIV, no one oppression is greater than another. The erasing of LGBTQ+ civil rights protections in health care is the same as me taking to the street decrying police brutality, is the same as my fear that I could lose my job simply for being gay. This important win on the side of justice empowers us to remain strong in our fight against injustice wherever it may be.
Continue to Fight
Today’s historic ruling says that LGBTQ+ people are, and should be, protected from discrimination at work under federal law. We all have a right to earn a living for our families. And now we must extend equal protection to all areas of life, including housing, health care, education, and public accommodations.
Our nation has much to do to dismantle both legal and cultural systems of racism. There are still critical gaps in our federal non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people. While LGBTQ+ people now have legal protection from discrimination at work, discrimination is still permissible in stores, restaurants, and a wide range of public accommodations.
Contact Congress to implore them to do everything in their power to make true equality for all a reality. Call on legislators to fully protect LGBTQ+ people from discrimination and pass comprehensive non-discrimination protections. When we act for justice, we are truly living into our Unitarian Universalist values.
We know this is a pivotal moment for our community, as well as a difficult environment for everyone. Later today, June 15th, please join the UUA and our Partners for a Virtual National Rally and Virtual National Town Hall as we gather together as a community to celebrate and support each other. The Town Hall will feature experts providing analysis of the opinion, how it will affect our lives, and what still needs to be done.
- The Rally Our livestream with LGBTQ+ leaders from across the country and those who led the fight for these cases (4 p.m. PT / 7 p.m. ET on #DecisionDay). ASL interpretation provided.
- The Town Hall Our expert panels will analyze the court opinion and how it will impact the lives of LGBTQ+ people. Participants will have time for Q&A and a recording will be provided for those who sign up (5:30 p.m. PT / 8:30 p.m. ET on #DecisionDay).
We Are Bending the Arc
This is a very important day for the LGBTQ+ Americans, for all Americans, and for all. No one's gender, sexuality, race, nationality, ethnicity, or physical ability should prevent anyone from the right to employment, housing, healthcare, education, or public accommodations. Let us find solace in these beautiful words of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., inspired by the 18th century abolitionist minister Theodore Parker, "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." Amid the global pandemic that is disproportionately impacting black and brown communities and an American epidemic of black people being killed by police, let us find hope in this small, but momentous bend in the arc toward justice.