Local activists in Spokane, Washington, appreciated the boost from UUA General Assembly 2019 attendees, whose public witness event protested a proposed new jail and called for an end to mass incarceration (see page 37). (KREM, Spokesman-Review, KXLY, June 20)
Book controversy. The Rev. Dr. Todd Eklof, minister of the UU Church of Spokane, told the local newspaper he had been asked to leave GA for arguing in The Gadfly Papers, a self-published book he was handing out, that the UUA was too focused on political correctness. (Spokesman-Review, June 25)
UUA Executive Vice President Carey McDonald responded to the newspaper story:
When many leaders, including those named in the book as well as people of color and trans and nonbinary leaders, expressed concern about themes in Rev. Eklof’s book, event organizers tried to engage him about how his book impacted others at the event at a meeting with our right relationship team. We asked Rev. Eklof to enter into an agreement with event organizers about how he would engage with our gathered community, which he declined to do, and we asked him not to return to the event until he was willing to make such an agreement. As Unitarian Universalists, we affirm that many perspectives can provide wisdom, and also that we must take responsibility for the impact of our words. Ultimately, GA conveners focused on creating a compassionate, inclusive, and antioppressive community of faith.
Eklof’s book drew criticism from DRUUMM (Diverse Revolutionary UU Multicultural Ministries), the people of color and indigenous chapter of the UU Ministers Association, several hundred white UU clergy, and the board presidents of LREDA (Liberal Religious Educators Association).
The personal cost of making history. Hillary and Julie Goodridge—lead plaintiffs in the case that resulted in Massachusetts becoming the first state to legalize marriage equality—and their daughter, Annie, spoke about the fall-out from so much publicity. (NPR, May 16)
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