As many of our long-time members may recall, Cedars became a Welcoming Congregation in 2002. It has been ten years since then, and we have done much to make Cedars a place that welcomes all, regardless of whom you love.
In 2012, as we celebrate our 10 years as a Welcoming Congregation, we now have an opportunity to further live our values. According to the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), “A Welcoming Congregation, as an advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, attends to legislative developments and works to promote justice, freedom, and equality in the larger society. It speaks out when the rights and dignity of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people are at stake.”
On February 1, 2012 Washington state’s Senate passed Marriage Equality. On February 8, 2012, the state’s House of Representatives also passed it, and Governor Gregoire signed it into law on February 13, 2012. On June 12, 2012 opponents of Marriage Equality submitted the required number of signatures to put the issue on the November 2012 ballot. Thus, R74 was born. The opponents to marriage equality who put R74 on the ballot are campaigning to get “No” votes to undo the marriage equality law enacted this year by our legislature and signed by the Governor. By contrast, supporters of marriage equality (including Washington United for Marriage and many faith communities) are seeking a “Yes” vote on R74 to affirm the marriage equality law enacted by the legislature.
Washington United for Marriage is a coalition of business, labor, political, non-profit, and faith organizations formed to support Marriage Equality and R74. Included in this coalition are 26 Washington religious congregations, three of whom are Unitarian Universalist (UU) congregations. At its August meeting, the Cedars UU Church Board of Directors voted to add our name to this list and formally endorse Washington United for Marriage. The following is the Board’s resolution:
WHEREAS Cedars Unitarian Universalist Church is a Welcoming Congregation,
AND WHEREAS one of our 7 Principles is the inherent dignity and worth of every person,
AND WHERERAS Unitarian Universalists have a long history of commitment to social action,
THE BOARD OF CEDARS UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST CHURCH RESOLVES that we endorse Washington United for Marriage in its efforts to protect marriage equality in the State of Washington,
AND FURTHER, we urge all members of our congregation to get involved in whatever way they can to educate and mobilize voters with the goal of passing Referendum 74 in November 2012.
As Forrest Church wrote, “…it is one thing to have right sentiments, and something else again to act upon them. Without the proof of deeds, good intentions and right opinions are nothing more than empty shells.” “In short, our hands will not be clean until we get them dirty, until we roll up our sleeves and match words with deeds.” This is an opportunity for us to live our Unitarian Universalist values!
1. John A. Buehrens and Forrest Church, A Chosen Faith (Beacon Press, 1998) page 49
2. Ibid, page 54