Just before a newly approved antidiscrimination ordinance was set to take effect for Charlotte, North Carolina, Republican lawmakers scheduled a special legislative session to pass a new law, known as House Bill 2, in record time. House Bill 2 nullifies the antidiscrimination provisions in the Charlotte ordinance. In a letter to the Charlotte Observer, the Rev. Jay Leach of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Charlotte noted that nondiscrimination ordinances have been on the books in the area for the past 20 years, and wondered why lawmakers chose to act against this particular one? ( The Charlotte Observer– 3.24.16)
In response to the passage of House Bill 2, which nullified a local nondiscrimination ordinance that would allow transgender individuals to use the bathroom of their choice, groups including Equality N.C., the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina, and the Black Lives Matter Coalition of North Carolina held rallies simultaneously at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Raleigh and across the street from the governor’s mansion. ( Daily Tarheel – 3.24.16)
“ACLU, Equality NC Considering Legal Challenge to Anti-Discrimination Bill” ( Time Warner Cable News– 3.24.16)
In Tennessee, the Rev. Laura Bogle of Foothills Unitarian Universalist Fellowship hopes that a recently tabled House Bill that would require transgender children and young people to use bathrooms and facilities inconsistent with their gender identity will not advance in the future. She writes in a recent op-ed: “Transgender people are no less bearers of the image of God, and they, like all of us, desire to bring their full and authentic selves—in mind, body, and spirit—into every space they occupy, be it our churches, our homes, or our schools.” ( Knoxville News Sentinel – 3.23.16)
UUA renews ties with Boy Scouts of America
The Boy Scouts of America and the Unitarian Universalist Association signed a new agreement after the two organizations had previously been divided over gay rights. Zach Wahls, a UU and co-founder of the group Scouts for Equality, welcomed the resumed relationship, calling it “a good day for the future of scouting.” ( Religion News Service – 3.24.16)
UU World also reported on the renewed relationship between the UUA and the Boy Scouts of America.