On the afternoon of June 28th, in Salt Lake City, UT, Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) president Rev. William Sinkford presented the President's Annual Award for Volunteer Service to San Diego lawyer Eric Isaacson. The Award for Volunteer Service is presented each year to one or more volunteers whose service to the UUA has been vital and extraordinary. For over five years, Isaacson has provided pro bono legal services to the UUA and other Unitarian Universalist groups, so that the liberal religious voice would be represented in crucial court cases, including those related to marriage equality in California.
“We made it clear,” Isaacson explained, “that people of faith will stand on the side of love and demand equality under the law, no matter what the courts may say. And our filings helped build a network of faith leaders whose coordinated voices will be critical in the continuing struggle for equal rights.”
In the case that led to the California Supreme Court ruling to legalize same-sex marriage in 2008, Isaacson filed an amicus curiae brief in support of marriage equality on behalf of the Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry (UULM) and many other national and regional religious groups. Following the passage of Proposition 8 in November 2008, Isaacson filed an amicus brief in support of marriage equality on behalf of the UUA, UULM, the California Council of Churches, the United Church of Christ, the Episcopal Bishops of California and Los Angeles, and the Progressive Jewish Alliance.
In addition to promoting marriage equality, Isaacson has also filed amicus curiae briefs arguing on behalf of the UUA for the historic separation of church and state and in opposition to discriminatory practices of the Boy Scouts of America. In 2008, Isaacson received the Unitarian Universalist of the Year Award from his congregation, the First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego.
Isaacson, a partner in the San Diego office of Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins, received his Bachelor of Arts from Ohio University in 1982, and his Juris Doctor degree from Duke University School of Law in 1985. He is a past president and board member of San Diego's Foundation for Change.
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 online press room.
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Public Witness Specialist, Unitarian Universalist Association