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Unitarian Universalism and LGBT topics

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Unitarian Universalism and LGBT topics

A rally at the Unitarian Church in Summit in New Jersey advocating marriage equality for same-sex couples in the state. The blue banner reads "Say 'I Do' to Marriage Equality".

Unitarian Universalism and the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) have a long-standing tradition of welcoming LGBT people.

History

The first ordained minister of a major religious group in the U.S. or Canada to [2] In 2004 UU Minister Rev. Debra Haffner of The Religious Institute on Sexual Morality, Justice, and Healing published An Open Letter on Religious Leaders on Marriage Equality to affirm same-sex marriage from a multi-faith perspective.[7]

Instituted organizations

The UUA maintains an office called Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Ministries (LGBTQ Ministries)[8] (which operates the Welcoming Congregation program). Established in 1973 as the "Office of Gay Affairs", it was the first major national religious organization to open a dedicated office for LGBT inclusion.[3][4] There is also a fellowship of [9] Any UU church desiring to become a Welcoming Congregation must meet the requirements set out in The Welcoming Congregation Handbook by LGBTQ Ministries. Once the requirements have been met, the UUA designates that church as a Welcoming Congregation and adds an icon to the listing in the UUA Directory. Usually, the Welcoming Committee evolves into an Interweave Chapter. Each chapter requests financial and advocacy support from the fellowship with which it is connected.[10]

The Canadian Unitarian Council (CUC) similarly operates a Gender and Sexual Diversity Monitoring Group,[11] and like the UUA (of which it became autonomous in 2002), has Welcoming Congregations.[12] The Canadian Unitarian Universalist congregations perform same-sex marriages and the CUC supports this work through its Lay Chaplaincy program.[13] The first same-sex marriage performed by a church in Canada[14] (after 1972 a civil same-sex marriage for Michel Girouard and Rejean Tremblay of Montreal[15]) was that of Chris Vogel and Richard North, married by the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Winnipeg on February 11, 1974[16] officiated by Unitarian Minister Rev. Norm Naylor. The Unitarian Universalist Church was responsible for the first same-sex marriages performed in Manitoba, Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, and Saskatchewan, mostly in the 1970s, although the provincial governments often refused to recognize the marriages at the time.

Welcoming Congregation

A Welcoming Congregation[17] is a church in the Unitarian Universalist Association or Canadian Unitarian Council that has undergone an intensive educational program to help the congregation become more inclusive of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender (LGBT) people. Many Unitarian and Unitarian Universalist churches have adopted this.

See also

References

  1. ^ "My Greatly Human Hometown Minister--James Lewis Stoll, 1936-1994"
  2. ^ a b http://www.uua.org/lgbtq/history/185789.shtml
  3. ^ a b Office of Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Concerns
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^ "Unitarians Endorse Homosexual Marriages", UPI, New York Times, 29 June 1984, retrieved on 21 June 2007.
  6. ^ UUA: Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Community
  7. ^ Religious Leaders Must Support Justice for All | Reproductive Health | RHRealityCheck.org
  8. ^ Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Ministries
  9. ^ Interweave Continental About
  10. ^ Interweave Continental
  11. ^ Gender and Sexual Diversity
  12. ^ CUC pamphlet on their Welcoming Congregation program
  13. ^ CUC pamphlet on their Lay Chaplaincy program
  14. ^ [1]
  15. ^ [2]
  16. ^ [3]
  17. ^ Welcoming Congregation

External links

  • "The Unitarian Universalist Association and Homosexuality" on religioustolerance.org
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