Position Statements

In Response to
the Robb Elementary School Shooting in Uvalde, Texas

First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston

Resolution Calling For the Termination of City of Houston Contracts
with the National Rifle Association

Whereas the Centers for Disease Control reports that the rate of gun deaths of children ages 14 and younger rose by roughly 50% from the end of 2019 to the end of 2020;

Whereas Harris County Sheriff’s Office reports 11 incidents (15 victims) of homicide by gunshot, between May 5 and May 23, 2022;

Whereas 19 elementary school children and two adults were slain by gunfire in Uvalde, Texas on May 24, 2022;

Whereas the National Rifle Association (NRA) consistently promotes fear, racism, and violence through publicity campaigns and statements falsely claiming that immigration and mental illness are the causes of gun violence and equating reasonable gun control measures with civil rights violations;

Whereas the NRA contributes hundreds of thousands of dollars to the political campaigns of lawmakers in every election cycle who consistently oppose any and every effort to enact reasonable gun control measures including limiting sales to people with mental illness, thereby disregarding the 87% of Americans who support such measures;

Whereas the NRA is scheduled to hold its convention and gun sale in Houston May 27 – 29, 2022;

Whereas the City of Houston has oversight responsibility for the Houston First Corporation which is responsible for licensing conventions and trade shows in Houston; and

Whereas the mission of Houston First Corporation to “enhance quality of life, advance economic prosperity and promote the Houston region” is directly contradicted by the actions of the NRA;

Whereas our Unitarian Universalist principles call on us to support and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person; justice, equity and compassion in human relations; the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process; the goal of a world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all; and

Whereas the actions of the NRA are in direct conflict with our Unitarian Universalist values and are harmful to ourselves and our community; now, therefore, be it

Resolved, that the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston, on behalf of its members calls upon Mayor Sylvester Turner, the Houston City Council, and the Houston First Corporation to exercise any options to terminate existing contracts and decline to enter into any such contracts for any and all meetings, conventions, exhibitions, shows, sales, or any official gathering of the National Rifle Association, including its subsidiaries and affiliates, to be held in Houston, Texas now, and in perpetuity.

Approved and signed this 25th day of May, 2022

Ruth Hoffman-Lach
Board President 

First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston

In Response to
Governor Greg Abbott's Attack on Trans Youth

We, the ministers of Unitarian Universalist congregations in the Houston area, are dismayed and angered that Governor Abbott has targeted the trans community in Texas by directing Family and Protective Services to begin investigating trans children and prosecuting their parents as child abusers. He has also threatened legal penalties against licensed professionals who do not report these individuals to the authorities.
We, as faith leaders, condemn the Governor’s attack on the worth and dignity of our fellow Texans, especially our youngest. Our acceptance of one another is an acceptance of the diversity of life. These are young people who have the courage to ask that their parents and health care professionals meet their medical needs as they know them to be. To mischaracterize and demonize their brave efforts, and accuse their parents of abuse, is unconscionable.
The American Medical Association has called state legislation to prohibit medically-necessary, gender, transition-related care for minor patients “a dangerous intrusion into the practice of medicine.” It has been shown time and time again, lives are saved by gender-affirming care; it allows trans young people to thrive. Additionally, the ACLU has pointed out, “No court anywhere in the country has ever found that gender-affirming care can be considered child abuse.”
We are in solidarity with, and love, the Texas trans community, their families, and those friends and professionals who also support them. We are called to love and lift up one another, not slander and criminalize those who are different for personal gain during an election cycle.

Rev. Dr. Colin Bossen
Senior Minister
First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston

Rev. D. Scott Cooper
Assistant Minister of Congregational Life
First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston

Rev. Dan King
Minister Emeritus
First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston

Rev. Michelle La Grave
Interim Minister
Emerson Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston

Rev. Becky Edmiston-Lange
Retired Minister
Emerson Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston

J. Sylvan
Transitional Minister
Bay Area Unitarian Universalist Church

Rev. Sarah Prickett
Developmental Minister
Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Church

Rev. Dr. Leonora Montgomery
Retired Unitarian Universalist Minister