Today I participated in a telephone press conference with Faith Voices Against Amendment 6. Amendment 6 is a proposed amendment to the Florida Constitution that would dangerously limit women’s healthcare options.
Today’s press conference included Jewish, Catholic, and Protestant voices in addition to mine. I’ll have more to say about this over the next six weeks but my remarks today focused on the need for public policy to be broadly inclusive in our diverse society. Here is what I said:
I speak to you as a Unitarian Universalist minister serving a congregation in Florida.
One of the great gifts of American society is our rich diversity. This diversity means that people — including people of faith—will have different opinions on many issues. Among those issues are parenting, pregnancy, and abortion. Our diversity of opinions is OK.
Thankfully, we live in a country that respects each person’s right to their own beliefs. Freedom of thought and speech are core principles of our American democracy, firmly protected by our Constitution. Those freedoms are critical to our ability to live together in peace and prosperity in a land with so many perspectives. Our diversity of opinions is OK.
What’s not OK is when one group tries to impose their views on everyone else.
What’s not OK is when one group among us seeks to limit the freedom of individuals from other groups – particularly the critical freedom to make choices according to their own faith and conscience.
What’s not OK is when one group tries to make their views the law of the land.
Amendment 6 would do just that: it would write one particular religious perspective into the Florida Constitution, interfering with a woman’s ability to get the healthcare that is right for her.
While people of faith will have different perspectives on important issues such as parenting, pregnancy, and abortion, we are agreed that these are important issues. They are deeply important and deeply personal issues that need to be made with counsel from family and health providers and according to ones’ faith.
Our public policy must ensure that, when these important decisions made, women have safe and legal access to all the health care choices needed. Only then will true freedom of conscience exist. Only then can we live fully into the promise of our democracy.
Thank you for helping to defeat Florida Amendment 6.
Thank you for helping to preserve women’s rights and health, as well as religious freedom, in Florida.