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Activity 1: Struggle for Equal Rights (25 minutes), Workshop 15: Beyond Binaries – The Struggle for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Equality

In "Resistance and Transformation," a Tapestry of Faith program

Materials for Activity

Preparation for Activity

  • Read Handout 1, History of Unitarian Universalist Involvement in and Support of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues and copy it for all participants.
  • Read Leader Resource 1, History of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights in the U.S. since 1969 so you will be comfortable sharing the information with the group.
  • Post the mural paper. Label five segments: "1960s," "1970s," "1980s," "1990s," and "2000 to today."
  • Set the markers near the mural paper.

Description of Activity

This activity gives an overview of Unitarian Universalist involvement in the struggle for the rights of sexual and gender minorities.

Because this history is relatively recent, some participants may have personal knowledge of some of the events described. If so, be sure to give those participants the opportunity to share their recollections and reflections.

Invite participants to work together to create a time line of Unitarian Universalist involvement in the struggle for LGBT rights. Explain that "LGBT" is shorthand for "lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender."

Designate one marker color for events within Unitarian Universalism, one for events in the wider society, and one for events in your own congregation. Invite people to come forward and write, in the appropriate time period on the mural paper, important events that took place. Ask them to write the year if they know it. Encourage collaboration as participants recall events.

After a few minutes, distribute Handout 1, History of Unitarian Universalist Involvement in and Support of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues, to help move the activity along. If the group has trouble getting started or gets stuck recalling events from the wider culture or from your own congregation, prompt them with information you have researched about your congregation and/or from Handout 1, History of Unitarian Universalist Involvement in and Support of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues, and Leader Resource 1, History of Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Rights in the U.S. since 1969.

After 10 minutes, lead a discussion, using these questions:

  • Does the time line suggest that progress has been made in the struggle for equal rights for LGBT people? If so, where?
  • What challenges remain?
  • What role, overall, has the Unitarian Universalist movement played in this struggle?

For more information contact web @ uua.org.

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Saturday, December 10, 2011.

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