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Freedom to Marry, for All People

UUs and Equal Marriage: a Look Back

1/23/06 VA: Arlington UUs Affirm Loving Committed Couples as state moves to restrict same sex partner rights

11/3/05 OR: Both Sides Await Court Ruling on Legality of State Ban on Same Sex Marriage

10/30/05 WA: High Court Ruling Imminent in Freedom to Marry Case

2/11/05 UUA Receives Award from Religious Coalition for Freedom to Marry

11/16/04 We Give Thanks—Reflections on Equal Marriage, One Year Later

10/25/04 GA: UU congregations oppose state ballot initiative; declare congregations "discrimination-free zones"

10/05/04 CA: UU Ministers Join Marriage Equality Caravan to Mobilize Support for Equal Rights

05/17/04 MA: Goodridges married at UUA headquarters

05/17/04 MA towns issue licenses to same-sex couples

03/16/04 NY: UU Ministers Charged With Solemnizing Unlicensed Marriages

03/08/04 An Open Letter to President Bush, by the Rev. Meg A. Riley

02/24/04 UUA President Opposes Call for Federal Constitutional Amendment

02/19/04 UUA President Congratulates Newly-Married Couples in San Francisco

02/04/04 UUA President Applauds Ruling in Favor of Same Sex Marriage

11/18/03 UUA President's Statement on MA Supreme Judicial Court ruling

6/26/03 Pres. William G. Sinkford's Statement on decision of US Supreme Court in the case of Lawrence et al v. Texas

6/05/03 Religious Leaders Call for Support of Civil Marriage for Gays and Lesbians

2/12/03 MA Interfaith Clergy Pledge for the Freedom to Marry - FAQ

2000 UUA supports Vermont same sex marriage efforts

Freedom To Marry Fund

Unitarian Universalists Stand on the side of Love
Lead plaintiffs in Massachusetts Freedom to Marry case celebrate their first anniversary at UUA headquarters, May 17, 2005
Equal marriage activity in New York
Washington rally in support of equal marriage

Standing on the Side of Love 2006: No Discrimination in the Constitution

The UUA needs your help in making sure discrimination isn't written into the Constitution!  Please visit the UUA Washington Office for Advocacy's web resources External Site: link will open a new window to find out what you can do!

Historical Overview

At the 1996 UUA General Assembly, delegates voted overwhelmingly to call for the legalization of same-sex marriage. The Unitarian Universalist Association has a long-standing and deeply held commitment to support full equality for bisexual, gay, lesbian, and transgender people, going back 33 years to 1970. Notable among these actions are:

On December 21, 1999, then-UUA President John A. Buehrens wrote to then-Vermont Governor Howard Dean, in support of the Vermont State Supreme court's unanimous decision that Vermont must guarantee the same protection and benefits to gay and lesbian couples that it does for heterosexual couples. In March, 2000, Unitarian Universalist ministers and lay people were active in giving testimony and providing support for an action taken by the Vermont legislature in April, which established Vermont's landmark Civil Union Bill.

On April 11, 2001, seven gay and lesbian couples (including seven Unitarian Universalists) brought suit in Suffolk, Massachusetts Superior Court Remote Link, asserting that the couples had all been denied marriage licenses and seeking to gain the legal recognition "that same-sex couples—whose relationships are as loving and as committed as those of heterosexual couples—have an equal right to civil marriage."

On Feb. 4, 2004, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court issued its landmark ruling, opening the way for Massachusetts to become the first state in US to support equal marriage. On May 17, 2004 (the same day as the historic Brown v. the Board of Education ruling was handed down by the US Supreme Court fifty years earlier), marriage licenses were issued to Massachusetts same sex couples who wished to marry in the Commonwealth.

Meanwhile, support to grant legal standing to same sex couples gains momentum across the country. Currently, UUs and members of the interfaith community working in support of marriage equality in the US await court rulings in Washington State, New Jersey, and New York which could significantly advance marriage equality.

UUA President William G. Sinkford, speaking after a decision on the U.S. Supreme Court case, Lawrence et al v. Texas was handed down, said, "Laws aimed at discriminating against bisexual, gay, lesbian, and transgender people are affronts to all people, no matter their sexual or gender orientation. These laws have been used to separate and divide us from one another; their intent is to support discrimination and make some people in our country second-class citizens. Unitarian Universalists across our country will continue [our] efforts, grounded in faith, which call us to support everyone's full humanity, everyone's ability to love, and everyone's value in the world."

Resources

For clergy

Join interfaith clergy Remote Link who oppose attempts to write discrimination into the United States Constitution!

For more information

 


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