Marriage Equality for LGBT People

UUV4J

Oppose the Florida and California Marriage Protection Initiatives

Unitarian Universalist official stands on the civil rights of Lesbian and Gay people to marry

The following resolutions were passed by delegates to the Unitarian Universalist General Assemblies over the past 30 years. These resolutions were either business resolutions or general resolutions clearly stating a long-standing UUA support for the rights of all people to marry, regardless of sexual orientation. The resolutions listed here begin as early as 1984.

2008 Action of Immediate Witness

Because: Unitarian Universalists affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person;

Whereas: The Unitarian Universalist Association [UUA], its member congregations and individual Unitarian Universalists have repeatedly affirmed their commitment to justice, equality, compassion and civil marriage for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people;

Whereas: The proposed Florida Marriage Protection Constitutional Amendment, which states, “Inasmuch as marriage is a legal union of only one man and one woman as husband and wife, no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized,” will appear on the November 2008 ballot in Florida;

Whereas: The State of California, in response to the recent ruling by the state Supreme Court that overturned its ban on same-sex marriages, is expected to have on its November 2008 ballot a similar initiative stating, “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California";

Whereas: Other states may have similar so-called marriage protection measures on their 2008 ballots; and

Whereas: The amendment will also negatively affect heterosexual couples in committed relationships outside of marriage;

Therefore, be it resolved: The 2008 UUA General Assembly

urges member congregations to oppose the Florida Marriage Protection Constitutional Amendment, the California Initiative and any similar ballot measures in any other state;

urges individual Unitarian Universalists to contact family and friends who live in and/or vote in the affected states to inform them of these amendments and to encourage them and their friends and family to vote "No" on them; to write letters to the editor and to support those organizations and coalitions presently working for their defeat; and

urges the Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministries for Florida and California and congregations, clusters and districts in all affected states to use this Action of Immediate Witness to oppose the Florida Marriage Protection Constitutional Amendment, the California Initiative, and other similar 2008 ballot initiatives.

Oppose Federal Marriage Amendment

2004 Action of Immediate Witness

WHEREAS the Unitarian Universalist Association has made strong public announcements that “Civil Marriage is a Civil Right” ;

WHEREAS several prominent national political leaders have proposed an amendment to the United States Constitution that would deny the rights and privileges of civil marriage to same-gender couples;

WHEREAS The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) of 1996 stipulates that marriage is between a man and a woman;

WHEREAS the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts ruled that same-sex and opposite-sex couples must be given equal civil marriage rights, effective May 17, 2004;

WHEREAS half of the plaintiffs in the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts ruling were Unitarian Universalists;

WHEREAS a coalition of twenty religious groups is opposed to this amendment, including the Unitarian Universalist Association, the Episcopal Church USA, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, and the Union for Reform Judaism;

WHEREAS the amendment denying marriage equality for same-gender couples is currently being considered by the Congress of the United States and is scheduled for consideration by the Senate during the week of July 12, 2004; and

WHEREAS this would be the only amendment to the Constitution that denies rights to any group and therefore undermines the intent of that great document;

BE IT RESOLVED that the members and congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association urge their legislators to vote against the proposed “Federal Marriage Amendment” (H.R. Res. 56); and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the UUA Office of Advocacy and Witness take appropriate action to advocate against any attempt to deny civil marriage rights to same-gender couples.

Support of the Right to Marry for Same-Sex Couples

1996 Resolution of Immediate Witness

Because Unitarian Universalists affirm the inherent worth and dignity of every person; and

Because marriage is held in honor among the blessings of life; and

WHEREAS many states, the Congress, and the President of the United States are acting to void the recognition of same-sex marriages and to deny "full faith and credit" to such marriages formalized in Hawaii or any other state;

WHEREAS debate about legally recognized marriage to same-sex couples has focused on the objections of certain religious communities, while the Unitarian Universalist Association has adopted numerous resolutions over the last twenty-six years supporting equal rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered persons, including support of Ceremonies of Union between members of the same sex; and

WHEREAS the Unitarian Universalist Association Board of Trustees and the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association have voted their support for the right to marry for same-sex couples;

THEREFORE be it resolved that the 1996 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association adopts a position in support of legal recognition for marriage between members of the same sex;

BE IT further resolved that the 1996 General Assembly urges the Unitarian Universalist Association to make this position known through the media; and

BE IT finally resolved that the 1996 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association urges the member congregations to proclaim the worth of marriage between any two committed persons and to make this position known in their home communities.

Gay and Lesbian Services of Union

1984 Business Resolution

WHEREAS, the Unitarian Universalist Association has repeatedly taken stands to affirm the rights of gay and lesbian persons over the past decade; and

WHEREAS, legal marriages are currently denied gay and lesbian couples by state and provincial governments of North America; and

WHEREAS, freedom of the pulpit is a historic tradition in Unitarian Universalist societies;

BE IT RESOLVED: That the 1984 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association:

Affirms the growing practice of some of its ministers of conducting services of union of gay and lesbian couples and urges member societies to support their ministers in this important aspect of our movement's ministry to the gay and lesbian community; and

Requests that the Department of Ministerial and Congregational Services:

distribute this information to Unitarian Universalist religious professionals and member societies;

develop printed material for ministers to assist them in planning and conducting services of union for gay and lesbian couples;

develop a pamphlet intended for laypersons which describes services of union for gay and lesbian couples and is distributed to member societies.