Side with Love

Side with Love (SWL) is an interfaith public advocacy campaign promoting respect for the inherent worth and dignity of every person. Side with Love confronts issues of exclusion, oppression, and violence based on identity. With the goal of creating beloved community, the campaign pursues social change through advocacy, public witness, and speaking out in solidarity with those whose lives are publicly demeaned.

Our core issues of focus include, but are not limited to: LGBTQ equity, immigrant justice, racial justice and intersectional movement building.

The broad message, “standing on the side of love,” emerged as a rallying point for people of faith in 2004 in Massachusetts during their early efforts for fully inclusive marriage, and later during the effort to keep the marriage equality law and block Proposition 8, in California in 2008.

Originally entitled Standing on the Side of Love, born out of that slogan and song by Rev. Jason Shelton of the same name, was launched after the 2008 shooting at Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville, which was targeted because they are welcoming to LGBTQ people and have a liberal stance on many issues. The Knoxville community responded with an outpouring of love that inspired the leadership at the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) to launch our campaign in 2009, with the goal of harnessing love’s power to challenge exclusion, oppression, and violence based on sexual orientation, gender identity, immigration status, race, religion, or any other identity.

Since its inception, Standing on the Side of Love received feedback from disability rights activists within Unitarian Universalism about the exclusionary and ableist language of “standing.” Pushed forward by a Responsive Resolution at GA 2017, we committed to changing the name because of its history of injury and exclusion and to honor and respond to feedback by making the shift. We are excited to now be called Side with Love.

Who's on the SWL team?

YOU! Side with Love began as an open-source campaign, and has spread throughout the Unitarian Universalist world as an important way that we show up in the world. Originally imagined as an interfaith campaign, we are most closely associated with Unitarian Universalism, but remain steadfastly open to people of all faiths, and people whose only faith is LOVE!

For many of us, this campaign is so much more than a slogan or logo; it is a values statement we take to heart and live by. Every time you wear your shirt, or a pin, or talk to someone about the values of the campaign, you are an important ambassador.