The day after the ruling upholding Proposition 8 came down from the California Supreme Court, I visited the White House for the first time since coming to UUA Washington Office over three years ago. Rev. Meg Riley, Director of UUA’s Advocacy and Witness Programs (my boss) accompanied me. We met with Paul Monteiro, the White House Office of Public Engagement’s Associate Director charged with creating partnerships with the faith community. The meeting covered a lot of ground, but we began by clearly communicating our movement’s commitment to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender rights. We spoke about the work of the UU state advocacy networks, the UUA office of BGLT concerns, and, most importantly, our many congregations.
Monteiro was already very familiar with Unitarian Universalism, having worked closely with many UU volunteers in Iowa during the campaign. He was receptive to our legislative objectives and our commitment to work in community partnerships and we are in the process of scheduling further meetings and sharing more information. This meeting felt like a genuine step forward in addressing the many issues Unitarian Universalists work and pray for every day. While the UUA will not always walk side-by-side with the White House, I am convinced that we are both committed to sharing our respective directions and understanding what drives us forward.