Amendment to Rule 9 of the Rules of Procedure - Submitted by Katherine Hyde

6/6/2024 Update: This Amendment did not receive enough support during the Mini-Assembly to be considered during General Assembly.

  • Against Amendment: 363 (72.3%)
  • In Favor of Amendment: 139 (27.7%)

Detailed results can be viewed on:

Bold underlining indicate insertion ; [brackets indicate deletion.]


There will be a time limit for each item scheduled for discussion during a General Session. The Moderator may make small extensions or changes to these time limits to help the meeting move smoothly and remain within the agenda, or to make an ability-based accommodation.

  • During discussion time, delegates may speak on the item up for discussion from the Pro or Con line for up to [ninety] one hundred fifty seconds when it is their turn.
  • The only time that counts against the discussion time limit is when someone is speaking from the Pro or Con Line. Time spent by members of the Board of Trustees or Commission on Social Witness explaining the business being discussed does not count against the time limit.
  • The Moderator will try to divide the time between Pro and Con speakers equally and will alternate between speakers in the Pro and Con lines.

Time Limits

Individual items included on the Final Agenda have individual time limits specific to those items. Items which may change after the publication of the Final Agenda, such as amendments to regular business items, have an overall time limit for all items of that type. For item types with an overall time limit, sponsors will have up to [90 seconds] 5 minutes (300 seconds) to present their submissions, with additional Pro/Con discussion time as determined by the Moderator.

Item Discussion Time Limit General Session
Regular business item, e.g. business resolution (individual) 15 IV
Amendments to regular business items (overall) 15 III
Amendments to Article II proposal (individual) [15] 60 II, III
Full Article II Proposal, including any approved amendments [30] 90 IV
Action of Immediate Witness, once added to the final agenda (individual) 12 IV
Responsive & Budget Resolutions (overall) 30 IV

If time for an item scheduled on the agenda is not needed, the Moderator may choose to add unused time to the overall discussion time limit of another item in the same General Session.

Note: The process to admit AIWs to the business agenda is defined in Rule 12.

Close of Discussion

Discussion on a business item ends when the time limit is up, or when no one is waiting to speak in either the Pro or Con line. The Moderator may end the discussion before the time limit if one of the Pro or Con lines has no one waiting to speak.

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Please note that this amendment could add over 4 additional hours to the general session time. This forum,, exists to provide an opportunity for everyone, not just delegates, to join the discussion about business before the General Assembly.


Yes, but, things change at GA, and being able to speak to the body rather than hoping folks will read your comments here is very different. Also we have been cutting time for GA business sessions over the years: in 2015 and 2016, total plenary time was 15 hours*; this year is 12, even as we encourage more delegates and engage in discussion of our foundational Article II. (Our average since 2015 is 11.85 hours, so we are slightly above average, though that included 2 years with very limited plenary time during the pandemic, which GAs did include extra discussion time.)
*correction; 2016 and 2017; in 2015, it was 14.5 hours

I am wondering why the proposed increased time for discussion is so dramatic? I can see wanting more than 30 minutes given the gravity of the Article II proposed changes, but 90 minutes is a huge increase.

I also wanted to know if it will be possible for the moderator to add time to the discussion clock if it seems that a large number of participants will go unheard (and relatedly where the moderator would be open to doing so). There were a couple times last year I recall feeling we weren’t hearing from all perspectives because the same delegates ended up at the front of the queue multiple times. My struggle with virtual GA is that there’s no way as a participant to look over at a queue and gauge something like that.

One used to be able to watch the clock and make a motion to extend debate for a set amount of time. That was done at the procedural mike, which is no more. IDK if it is still possible to make such a motion or how one would go about it.

Given the number of delegates, the amount of time proposed is not unreasonable, particularly if the amendment increasing time from 90 seconds (it was 2 minutes until 2 years ago) to 150 seconds (2.5 minutes) is also passed, which I think it should be—I missed the deadline, or I would have proposed restoring the 2-minute time.

I would also have proposed a second amendment to require the board and CSW members to adhere to the same time limits, and to describe factually, rather than interpret or comment subjectively, on the item that they are introducing. Support should come from the Pro mike, and I believe that these individuals can speak at that mike. Next year!

I support changing the time for each delegate to speak from 90 to 150 seconds. I believe it is more inclusive. I support extending some of the other times, but not as much as this amendment proposes. For example, the sponsor could have 2.5 minutes. Amendments to Article II proposal (Individual) could have 25 minutes. I’m not sure that we’ll need more than 30 minutes on the Full Article II Proposal, including any approved amendments.

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Adding up to 300 seconds per pro/con will mean fewer people will have an opportunity to speak, or else the overall time period will extend longer than is necessary. A 90 second limit gives more opinions to be heard. Given the pro/con can introduce themselves without it counting against their 90 sec, it should not be a problem.

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I agree with you Katie. I’m more than worried about the extra 3 or 4 hours of time this could add if passed. While I too believe A2 is important thus I’ve been attending meetings on A2 for years now, we’ve been having these discussions literally for years and are having them right now on the discuss site. And I also want to get other business of GA like embracing and celebrating our transgender, non binary and intersex siblings and Solidarity with Palestinians. As a disabled person, adding 3 to 4 hours more of highly engaged screen time to GA business makes things more difficult and less accessible. Any one can participate on the UUA discuss site and having these discussions right now there. How many years of discussion is enough? I mean we have literally been discussing UUA bylaws for years. We’ve been prepping for this vote for the last 3 years. I’m con to this.

I don’t see an additional 4 hours, I see an additional 1:45; from 15 to 60 minutes = 45 minutes; from 30 minutes to 90 minutes = 60 minutes, so that is 105 minutes, or 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Am I missing something?

The other thing that the additional overall time addresses is the extra time per delegate; increasing that from 90 seconds to 150, or even to 120, would mean fewer folks would be able to speak if the overall time was not increased.

The original 15-minute proposal would be 900 seconds, or 10 people 5 pro and 5 con. And of course there would be lost time between speakers for which the clock is not stopped, so maybe that is 8 or 9 people. That would be double for the 30-minute discussion.

This proposal adds 45 minutes to one item, 60 to another; at 2.5 minutes each, that works out to 18 and 24 speakers, respectively; or 9 speakers each pro and con for one item, 12 each pro and con for the other. Especially if folks are able to adjust their comments to avoid being repetitious with what has come before (which would definitely be easier for some folks, more used to public speaking, than others), and if not everyone takes their full 2.5 minutes (some folks have a simple point that can be made quickly; others have a more nuanced comment that needs more time), the ability to not be rushed is important. We are a diverse enough group that hearing from a wider variety of speakers is important, especially for the many delegates who are first-time or infrequent delegates, or have not been able to participate in discussions throughout the year, are coming to this conversation without a lot of background

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I just did the math; I don’t see an extra 4 hours, rather an extension from 15 to 6 0minutes (45 minutes) and from 30 to 90 (60 minutes); that is 1:45, not 4:00.

90 seconds per person, for 15 minutes—not allowing for the fact that some time will be lost between speakers, announcing names, etc.—is just 10 speakers, 5 each pro and con. That does not feel like enough diverse understanding for such a weighty vote. with 45 minutes, at 2.5 minutes each, allows for 18 speakers, 9 each pro and con.

So, on this great discussion platform where we should have all our discussion, one cannot post 3 sequential replies. Rather than waiting to see if someone replies to me, this is a reply to a comment by Sue Royer; in time, maybe I can actually post it appropriately. Meanwhile, tacked on here:

Yes, I think that the amendments need more time than the full Article II; if it is to pass without real divisiveness, the amendments need full discussion (whether they wind up passing or not).

@CharlesD Could you speak to Sally’s calculation? Also, what will I need to do in terms of procedure to reflect friendly amendments for ballot purposes?

Yes it could, but it is more likely that the extra time for Amendments to Article II will not require the extra 45 minutes for each as the Amendments are pretty straightforward and easily understood.

The extra 60 minutes proposed for the Full Article II Proposal, however, is really insufficient considering the importance of Article II to the basis for our faith.

Though this discussion forum is nice, far too UUs know about it or use it and it is not the same as the back and forth of real time discussion.

I am glad to hear that many on this discussion have had a chance to hold discussions on Article II in their congregations. That has not been my experience nor has it been the experience of a vast number of UUs many of whom are just learning about the proposal recently.

Let’s be honest. There has not been an equal sharing of material both for and against the Article II proposal and now the UUA Board has openly come out in favor of the proposal. No surprise there. There have been many scholarly articles and videos produced exploring the changes the Rewrite proposes and the ramifications of them. Have any of them been published on a UUA website? Have UUs really been given a chance to understand these changes for themselves? And now we are considering limiting the discussion at GA!! What could be more important?

This Article II Rewrite proposal has been developed during a PANDEMIC when many ministers were more worried about keeping their congregations afloat and recently concerned with introducing division into their recovering congregations. There have been recent sermons at several congregations that I am aware of that suggested not worrying about Article II, that we have more important things to concern ourselves with.

GA is the only time we have remaining to discuss Article II. We need delegates who are fully informed of all points of view before making as monumental a decision as what faces us. Lets not shortchange it.

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I’m going off what the moderator’s said in our mini assembly and Amendment to Rule 9 of the Rules of Procedure - Submitted by Katherine Hyde - #2 by CharlesD comment above.

And of course A2 is important which is why we’ve been having meetings, sessions and discussions about for literally years now. And that doesn’t change my opinion against this amendment.

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Sally, your calculation assumes one amendment, I believe. The proposal would change the discussion time to an hour for each of the four proposed amendments. 4 x 45 = 180 minutes = 3 hours. The fourth hour is the proposed increase in time for discussion of A2.

I support this amendment to expand the time for consideration of Article II and its amendments. This upcoming GA has been called “momentous,” and the process by which we consider Article II may be even more important than the votes themselves. Sponsors need more than 90 seconds to interpret and advocate for their proposals. Despite ample opportunities to be informed, some (perhaps many?) delegates will not be clear about what we are voting on and why. Additionally, the full Assembly cannot be rushed in its pro and con process of discernment. We who “covenant to learn from one another in our free and responsible search for truth and meaning,” and who “embrace our differences and commonalities with Love, curiosity, and respect” may need more than 30 minutes to feel ready to make this momentous decision. Nothing in the proposed change commits us to fill the allotted time limits, and the Moderator has great discretion to shape the discussion if comments are inappropriate or fail to follow the rule that “Only concerns that would prevent the delegate from voting in favor of the item being discussed are allowed in the Con Line.” When the discussion feels complete, only one line (“pro” or “con”) needs to stop asking to speak and the debate can come to an end. But if delegates feel that the time limits have worked against their chance to be heard, they may justifiably claim that the decision has been “railroaded.” Please vote “In favor of the amendment.”


I don’t know if I agree. I think the discussion will expand to fill whatever time is allotted and would want to proceed on the assumption that whatever time is given will be used.

two and a half minutes is a very long time to speak - it will simply lead to people repeating themselves and not add any relevant content. People who feel these amendment ae important should work to make their points clearly and succinctly - that is what people listening need - not going over and over the same pointsthree or four times.


Ah, got it! Sometimes the simplest things get overlooked! OTOH, the chart itself is very unclear, leads one to that interpretation—if there are 2 amendments to be discussed in each session, then is that 7.5 minutes each, or 15 each? I guess “individual” is meant to indicate 15 minutes each, but frankly listing each separately would have been clearer. I’ll go back and check the agenda to see if it is listed as such in the original agenda—but in my defense, I have been to just about every GA since 2009, and pretty diligent about reading lots of document like this, so there are many people even more likely than I to be confused.

Thanks for the correct interpretation—I’ll go back and look over the agenda again.

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Actually, it’s not; it is about 330 words at average speed, according to I speak at a lot of government meetings, particularly at NJ Transit board meetings, and we are given 3 minutes—a few years ago, cut back from 5 minutes. I have found 3 minutes to be the most common length of time at government meetings, in my experience here in New Jersey.