Unitarian Universalism has been on record as supporting the rights of bisexual, gay, and lesbian people since 1970. The Office of Bisexual, Gay, and Lesbian Concerns was formed in 1973. They have advocated against sodomy laws and job and housing discrimination. They have advocated for ceremonies of union and same-gender marriage, the right to serve in the military, the right to lead congregations as ministers and religious professionals, and the right to be parents. They are now on record as supporting the rights of transgender people.
The Welcoming Congregation program of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) was launched in the 1980s and 90s to help congregations learn how to undo homophobia (and later transphobia) and practice radical inclusion. The number of Welcoming Congregations in the UUA is growing; however, since there is still much homophobia and heterosexism, the work and the story are still in progress. Each of us has the opportunity to be a part of the work and the story. Cedars UU Church became a Welcoming Congregation on January 20, 2002, when the congregation approved the enabling resolution and bylaw changes. This was a result of a series of workshops undertaken to increase our awareness and learn what actions we needed to take to be welcoming to all. The UUA renewed our designation on July 30, 2015.
Our renewal was the result of a series of workshops where we committed to actions to keep our welcome strong. Those actions included the following:
- Seek increased opportunities for education on emerging areas of concern, especially in gender identity issues.
- Increase our visual symbols of welcome and inclusion in both the Cedars Center and in our worship space.
- Have a series of movie nights where we show films with LGBTQ and social justice themes.
- Seek opportunities for networking with other faith based LGBTQ groups in our local community.
- At least one sermon a year devoted to LGBTQ issues (eg Pride Month).
If you have an interest in this work, please contact Scot Hedrick, Chair.