Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Statements and Resolutions
The following is a summary of past resolutions by the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). For the full text, please see our Social Justice Statements.
Oppose the Florida and California Marriage Protection Initiatives
2008 Action of Immediate Witness
Therefore, be it resolved: The 2008 UUA General Assembly urges the Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministries for Florida and California and congregations, clusters and districts in all affected states to use this Action of Immediate Witness to oppose the Florida Marriage Protection Constitutional Amendment, the California Initiative, and other similar 2008 ballot initiatives.
Confronting Gender Identity Discrimination
2007 Responsive Resolution
Be it resolved that the 2007 General Assembly affirms its commitment to the inherent worth and dignity of every human being, including transgender individuals.
Oppose Federal Marriage Amendment
2004 Action of Immediate Witness
BE IT RESOLVED that the members and congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association urge their legislators to vote against the proposed 'Federal Marriage Amendment' (H.R. Res. 56)
Support of the Right to Marry for Same-Sex Couples
1996 Resolution of Immediate of Witness
THEREFORE be it resolved that the 1996 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association adopts a position in support of legal recognition for marriage between members of the same sex.
Supporting Legal Equity for Gays and Lesbians
1987 Business Resolution
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: That the 1987 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association supports rescission of laws governing private sexual behavior between consenting adults and supports passage of laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Creation of an Office on Gay Affairs
1973 General Resolution
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: That the 1973 General Assembly urges the Board of Trustees of the UUA to create at the denominational headquarters an Office on Gay Affairs.
Discrimination Against Homosexuals and Bisexuals
1970 General Resolution
Urges all churches and fellowships, in keeping with changing social patterns, to initiate meaningful programs of sex education aimed at providing more open and healthier understanding of sexuality in all parts of the United States and Canada, and with the particular aim to end all discrimination against homosexuals and bisexuals.
Unitarian Universalists have passed two statements specifically pertaining to discrimination against lesbian, gay, and bisexual persons serving in the military, excerpted below.
In 1993, the General Assembly passed a Resolution of Immediate Witness calling for lifting the ban prohibiting lesbian, gay, and bisexual persons from serving in the U.S. military In 2007, the General Assembly passed an Action of Immediate Witness calling for the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
Acceptance of Openly Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Persons in the United States Military
1993 Resolution of Immediate of Witness
BECAUSE the Unitarian Universalist Association affirms the inherent worth and dignity of every person and calls for justice, equity, and compassion in human relations; and
WHEREAS the Unitarian Universalist Association has, since 1970, adopted ten resolutions in support of lesbian, gay, and bisexual persons...
WHEREAS men and women who are lesbian, gay, or bisexual daily defend the rights of all citizens, yet cannot secure their own rights and responsibilities under the nation's covenant without the moral commitment of their President and Congress, and do endure constant assault on their nature and character by political and religious leaders in defiance of the evidence of history, military records, and common experience;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the delegates of the 1993 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association are outraged at the hate campaign being conducted against lesbian, gay, and bisexual persons as a reaction to the President's stated intention to lift the ban on lesbian, gay, and bisexual persons in the military;
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the Board of Trustees of the Unitarian Universalist Association directs the Unitarian Universalist Washington Office to inform the President and members of Congress of the 1993 General Assembly's support for lifting the military ban of lesbian, gay, and bisexual persons.
Repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"
2007 Action of Immediate Witness
WHEREAS our Unitarian Universalist Principles call us to affirm the inherent worth and dignity of every person and to promote justice, equity, and compassion in human relations;
WHEREAS under a federal law, commonly referred to as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT), the U.S., military discharges gay, lesbian and bi-sexual service members solely because of their sexual orientation;
WHEREAS DADT undermines military readiness by discouraging thousands of patriotic and talented Americans from serving in the military;
WHEREAS under DADT, over 11,000 service members have been discharged, including many with critical skills, such as Arabic linguists;
WHEREAS, twenty-four nations allow gays to serve openly, including Israel, Britain, Australia, and Canada, with no negative effect on military readiness or unit cohesion;
WHEREAS in February 2007, the Military Readiness Enhancement Act (H.R. 1246), calling for the repeal of DADT, was introduced in Congress and already has 124 bipartisan co-sponsors;
WHEREAS in the 110th Congress, hearings on DADT are expected to be held and a Senate bill calling for repeal of DADT is very likely to be introduced;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the 2007 General Assembly delegates express their strongest possible support for immediate repeal of DADT and implementation of a policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in the U.S. Military; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the delegates call upon the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, their individual members and friends, and affiliate organizations, to pledge themselves to work for repeal by:
Sending letters, emails, and petitions urging repeal of DADT to the President and Members of Congress; Supporting elected officials who are committed to repealing DADT; Writing local newspapers and participating in internet blogs; and Getting resolutions from city, county, and state governments and other influential organizations demanding repeal of DADT.
Unitarian Universalist advocacy for policies granting full equality to bisexual, gay, lesbian and transgender persons stems from our religious conviction that every person has inherent worth and dignity, and thus people of all sexual orientations and gender identities should be treated equally under law. We abhor the many forms of needless discrimination and oppression that plague our society, and we know from our religious experience of worshipping and being together—bisexual, transgender, straight, lesbian, and gay—that what unites us as families and as people is much greater than what divides us.
Discrimination Against Homosexuals and Bisexuals
1970 General Resolution
The 1970 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association:
- Urges all peoples immediately to bring an end to all discrimination against homosexuals, homosexuality, bisexuals, and bisexuality, with specific immediate attention to the following issues: a person's sexual orientation or practice shall not be a factor in the granting or renewing of federal security clearance, visas, and the granting of citizenship or employment;
- Calls upon the UUA (Unitarian Universalist Association) and its member churches, fellowships, and organizations immediately to end all discrimination against homosexuals in employment practices, expending special effort to assist homosexuals to find employment in our midst consistent with their abilities and desires;
Support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 1994
1994 Resolution of Immediate Witness
The 1994 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association urges Unitarian Universalist individuals and congregations in the United States to demonstrate active support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act by:
- learning the facts about what this legislation will and will not do;
- communicating their support of ENDA to their Congressional representatives;
- speaking out in public forums;
- working to dispel the misinformation and lies on this issue which are promulgated by the far right-wing political and religious groups.
Pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act with Transgender Inclusion and Protection
2007 Action of Immediate Witness
The 2007 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association expresses its support for immediate action in Congress to pass into law H.R. 2015, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
Consensus on Racial Justice
1966 Business Resolution
From "Racial Violence and the Administration of Justice"
The rise of violence in the political and societal conflicts of American life endangers freedom of speech and assembly essential to democratic society. These freedoms and, in general, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are, and have been, federal rights of all citizens since the founding of the Republic. To secure these freedoms, the President should appoint a commission to investigate the collapse of law in such acts of terrorism and make remedial recommendations wherever constitutional rights are denied. The local police should invite the assistance of the FBI in cases of terrorism.
The Justice Department should press with renewed vigor the prosecution under existing law of those guilty of the beatings, the shootings, the bombings, and the killings. The President is urged to recommend and the Congress to enact new federal legislation at the earliest moment to protect the security of the individual from assault or threatened assault upon his person or property, where that assault has a racial purpose or effect, and to provide civil damages for the victim of such an assault.
1979 Business Resolution
Be it Resolved: ...that the 1979 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association urges the Administration, member societies, and individuals to:
3. Promote improved civil and legal protections for victims;
4. Work toward improved police and court methods of handling violence in the home and toward follow-up treatment services for offenders and victims.
Violence Against Women
1993 General Resolution
Be It Resolved: ...that the Unitarian Universalist Association shall act and urge its associate members, affiliate organizations, members congregations and individual Unitarian Universalists to:
5. promote legislation to stop violence against women;
Condemnation of Arson at Sacramento Synagogues
1999 Action of Immediate Witness
In the early morning hours of Friday, June 18, 1999, three synagogues in Sacramento, California, were set on fire. The three synagogues—Congregation B'nai Israel, Congregation Beth Shalom, and Knesset Israel Torah Center—suffered over $1,000,000 worth of damage, including a library with a 2,000-year-old bible and videos of holocaust survivors. Anti-Semitic flyers were left at each scene, and the FBI is investigating the arsons as hate crimes. Immediately after the events, the Sacramento interfaith community rose as one in support and solidarity with the three congregations.
These acts of violence strike at Unitarian Universalists' most deeply held principles. We condemn all such acts of hatred and intolerance. The 1996 General Assembly decried the burning of churches, synagogues, mosques, and other houses of worship. We do so again.
As Unitarian Universalists, we want our voices to be heard. Therefore the 1999 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association requests that:
- individual Unitarian Universalists continue to speak out in condemnation of such acts of desecration and destruction;
- the Unitarian Universalist Association convey our sympathy to and solidarity with the congregations of the three synagogues; and
- the Unitarian Universalist Association, in conjunction with the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, on behalf of the Unitarian Universalist movement as a whole, make an appeal to all Unitarian Universalist congregations to assist Sacramento Interfaith projects, such as the proposed Museum of Tolerance, which will address the climate of intolerance and hate which led to these crimes.