Welcome our new Human Rights beneficiary: MARRIAGE EQUALITY USA


We are pleased to announce that MARRIAGE EQUALITY USA has been selected as our new beneficiary in the Human Rights category for 4th quarter 2010.

MEUSA is a U.S. national organization dedicated to securing the legal recognition of same-sex marriage through education and outreach.

Though individual humanists hold a wide range of opinions on this and other issues, our selection of an organization working for LGBT rights helps to emphasize a longstanding humanist consensus on the key civil rights struggle of our time.

“Our sincere gratitude to you and the Foundation!” wrote Christine Allen, leadership coordinator for MEUSA. “We function on a shoestring, a threadbare one at that, so every cent is very deeply appreciated….Our money goes directly into the monthly expenses to keep the org going, to put supplies and public education materials directly into the hands of our volunteer leaders and chapter members.”

Like Soulforce, our previous choice, Marriage Equality USA includes several religious progressives on its board and staff. But MEUSA does not include messaging that undercuts the mission and message of our Foundation.

A sidenote: Going forward, it will be important to remember why Soulforce was not the right candidate for our support at this time. We continue to applaud their good work and to recognize a great deal of shared values and principles between our organizations. They are led and staffed by good people of great courage who are fighting the right fight. The fact that many of those people identify with theistic religion was a non-issue. But there is work to be done on some aspects of their messaging before we can once again consider throwing our direct support their way.

I was greatly encouraged by the gracious response of Dr. Cindi Love, Soulforce’s executive director, to our decision. “I completely understand,” she said, adding that she agrees the messaging is too exclusive and hopes it will be remedied in the future, since “our practice is actually quite inclusive.”

It may be that we have helped another organization recognize humanists as valued allies—a positive outcome of an otherwise painful moment.

MEUSA’s designation as Human Rights beneficiary is retroactive to October 1, so all member contributions to that category in the current quarter will go to MEUSA. Questions, concerns, comments? Drop a note to Dale.