Each year the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office (UU-UNO) hosts our Spring Seminar. Our 2013 theme was Sex, Love, and Violence: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in a Globalized World.
Throughout the seminar participants met in collaboration groups to discuss and process the informational panels and activities. At the end of the conference, each collaboration group submitted a statement which contributed to our annual Spring Seminar Statement. Below is our collective statement from 2013.
UU United Nations 2013 Seminar Statement
- Cultural and societal shifts often start with personal transformation;
- Unitarian Universalism is a faith that recognizes the inherent worth and dignity of all people and views love as sacred;
- Our Unitarian Universalist values include the belief that differences strengthen our communities;
- “Being yourself” is a form of advocacy;
- There is a pervasive world-wide assumption that all people are heterosexual (heteronormativity);
- There is a pervasive world-wide assumption that peoples’ gender identities always match their biologically assigned sex;
- There are real risks involved with “coming out” about having a marginalized sexual orientation and/or gender identity;
- The United Nations has recently begun openly supporting and advocating for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Human Rights;
- Throughout the world people are subject to violence, harassment, persecution, and institutionalized oppression based on their perceived or actual sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions;
- Knowledge that momentous events of human rights movements vary from generation to generation and experience with these events provides a unique lens;
We therefore resolve to:
- Combat discrimination and violence based on perceived or actual sexual orientation or gender identity;
- Use a faith and value-based perspective to advocate for the support and protection of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities;
- Be accountable for our own actions and words while striving to celebrate our authentic selves;
- Act in solidarity with those whose sexual orientations and gender identities differ from societal norms;
- Actively welcome all people at all stages of their personal journey, and to support their personal growth and choices;
- Advocate for equality and strive for social justice;
- Continue to support the United Nations’ LGBT advocacy work and its commitment to stopping discriminatory policies;
- Strive to ensure that all congregations become “Welcoming Congregations” which institutionalize proactive and welcoming measures for people who are marginalized due to their sexual orientation and/or gender identity and expression;
- Affirm these experiences by engaging in intergenerational dialogue to create a just future for all of humanity.