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First Things, July 2015

July 1, 2015

Each month, in this column, I write about the most important issues facing our church. What are the “First Things” this month at First Church?

This month, the most important news isn’t in our church; it’s the news coming from the US Supreme Court. In a series of opinions released at the end of June, the US Supreme Court has moved our nation toward the values of love, and peace, and justice we seek. Three opinions are particularly gratifying.

The Supreme Court upheld the Fair Housing Act. The FHA has protected persons from housing discrimination based on race for nearly 50 years. Plaintiffs argued that discrimination must be blatant to be illegal. The court concluded that race-neutral policies, which have a disproportionate, negative, impact on people of color may also be illegal. This decision affirms a growing awareness that racism can be systemic as well as personal.

The Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act. For decades, Unitarian Universalists have worked for universal health care in the United States. The ACA has allowed millions of Americans to access health insurance while also controlling costs. With this law firmly established, we can now continue our work to improve the law and expand its benefits.

And the Supreme Court extended marriage equality to all 50 states. The Candle of Hope we’ve been lighting every Sunday has ended its vigil with victory. Same-sex couples, regardless of where they live, will now have their relationships respected by the state on equal footing with all other couples.

It was a remarkable week for our nation, for many of us personally, and for First Church. Enjoy the success.

 

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