The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Boca Raton, Florida, recently withdrew as a voting site after the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections pulled a polling place out of a local mosque. The mosque had been selected as a polling site, but after threats from people saying they would block voters or call in bomb threats to clear the building, the site was moved.
After the election, the UU congregation forwarded their formal withdrawal letter to reporters. “Religious discrimination, and Islamophobia in particular, have been increasing dramatically, even more so since the election,” said Charlie Cormier, secretary of the church’s Board of Trustees. “We had hoped that our county government would not succumb to pressure from that segment of our community.” The congregation has reportedly served as a polling site for decades. (Palm Beach Post - 11.30.16)
UUs hold vigils for Transgender Day of Remembrance
First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, was one of several UU congregations to hold an event to mark Transgender Day of Remembrance, which was honored this year on November 20, 2016. The congregation read the names and lit candles for the 295 people who were killed worldwide last year because they were transgender. (Wicked Local Chelmsford - 11.21.16)
The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Waco, Texas, changed the name of their service this year from “Remembrance” to “Resilience” as part of efforts by the transgender community to identify people as not just victims while also honoring the lives lost. (Waco Tribune-Herald - 11.18.16)
“Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers offers support to city’s transgender community” (Colorado Springs Gazette - 11.20.16)
Bismarck-Mandan minister speaks out against ban on supplies to Standing Rock
The Rev. Karen Van Fossan, minister of the Bismarck-Mandan, North Dakota, Unitarian Universalist Congregation, said the threat of a $1,000 fine for anyone delivering supplies to the main protest camp at Standing Rock will not deter the congregation from providing support. “Solidarity doesn’t stop when the warm weather stops," Van Fossan said. The church has served as a drop-off site for supplies and has been delivering those supplies for months, in addition to hosting prayer and informational sessions. They are also raising funds for a winterized yurt at the camp. (Bismarck Tribune - 11.29.16)