UUV4J Non-Discrimination of LGBT
Unitarian Universalist official stands on nondiscrimination of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgender people
The following resolutions were passed by delegates to the Unitarian Universalist General Assemblies over the past 45 years. These resolutions were either business resolutions or general resolutions clearly stating a long-standing UUA support for full inclusion of LGBT people in all areas of life. The resolutions listed here begin as early as 1970.
Confronting Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination
2010 Business Resolution
WHEREAS the Moderator of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations endorsed and advocated supporting full equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals, which constituted a substantive portion of her report to the Assembly, and by her social witness action of requesting that the full General Assembly of delegates attend and witness at Minneapolis Pride, on Saturday, June 26, following Plenary Session IV; and
WHEREAS the Committee on Right Relations specifically invoked the inherent worth and dignity of transgender individuals as a substantive portion of its report during the business meeting of the General Assembly 2010 in Plenary Session IV; and
WHEREAS the Employment Non-Discrimination Act is before the House of Representatives and Senate and the passage of sexual orientation and gender identity employment equality is in jeopardy;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the 2010 General Assembly affirms its commitment to the inherent worth and dignity of every human being, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we express this spiritual value through our employment practices, educational efforts, congregational life, public witness, and immediate advocacy for the passage of the inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we encourage member congregations and societies to act within their congregations and communities to promote and educate the importance of employment equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals.
Pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act with Transgender Inclusion and Protection
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 Largo. Florida City Manager Steve Stanton was summarily fired after his planned transition from male to female was disclosed:
WHEREAS Unitarian Universalist congregations condemned on the national stage the action of the Largo City Commissioners but could not point to any record of General Assembly action supporting rights of transgender persons:
WHEREAS only 13 states plus the District of Columbia have policies prohibiting both sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination in employment, seven other states have laws that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation only, and about 100 municipalities in the 30 other states without non-discrimination statutes have local non-discrimination laws;
WHEREAS most people employed in the United States can be fired on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity;
WHEREAS H.R. 2015, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), as introduced in the 1 10th Congress, would prohibit discrimination against employees on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, and provide employment protections similar to those of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (also known as “Title VII”) but specifically directed to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees;
WHEREAS opponents of the law often make misleading statements, use questionable statistics or outright falsehoods in opposition to ENDA;
WHEREAS this issue has been discussed in the UU Church of Berkeley Welcoming Congregation Committee and the Pacific Central District Interweave Chapters, and this issue gives Unitarian Universalists the opportunity to be truly inclusive of all lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that 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;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the delegates of the 2007 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association call upon all member congregations and individual Unitarian Universalists to:
• Support passage of employment non-discrimination legislation at all municipal, county and state levels;
• Oppose attempts to remove sexual orientation and/or gender identity any proposed employment non-discrimination legislation;
• Speak out against misleading and false statements made by opponents of ENDA, particularly those that encourage further intolerance against the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community; and
• Urge our elected representatives in Congress to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act
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 requires gay service members to lie as a condition of service;
WHEREAS there are over one million gay veterans and at least sixty-five thousand gay people currently serving in the U.S. military;
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 each year, approximately .3,000 gay service members leave the military rather than continuing to serve under the stress of DADT;
WHEREAS taxpayers have spent over .360 million dollars training replacements for personnel discharged under DADT;
WHEREAS a 1993 Rand Report concluded the U,S. military could lift the gay ban without detriment to readiness and numerous subsequent studies conclude there is no empirical evidence to support DADT;
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 American troops are serving with openly gay troops from twelve countries in Afghanistan in Operation Enduring Freedom and nine countries in Operation Iraqi Freedom;
WHEREAS support for repealing DADT has tremendous momentum;
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 1’24 bipartisan co-sponsors;
WHEREAS in the l10th Congress, hearings on DADT are expected to be held and a Senate bill calling for repeal of DADT is very likely to be introduced;
WHEREAS leaders instrumental in creating DADT, General John Shalikashvili, who was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff when DADT was adopted, and President Clinton, who signed the law, now support gays serving openly;
WHEREAS recent polls show that 6.3% – 79% of Americans and 91 % of 18-29-year olds support gays serving openly;
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, e-mails 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.
Work to Change Discriminatory Policies of Boy Scouts of America
1999 Action of Immediate Witness
WHEREAS Unitarian Universalists affirm the inherent worth and dignity of every person and a free and responsible search for truth and meaning; WHEREAS Unitarian Universalists have consistently affirmed the rights of bisexual, gay, lesbian, and transgender persons;
WHEREAS anti-gay violence has been on the rise, with a dramatic increase at public schools and with 19% of gay youth reporting having suffered physical attacks based on their sexual orientation;
WHEREAS the Boy Scouts of America’s policy is to “not allow for the registration of avowed homosexuals as members or as leaders of the Boy Scouts of America”;
WHEREAS the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) requires all Boy Scouts to affirm a duty to God;
WHEREAS many individual UUs are involved with the BSA, either as youth involved in the program or as adult leaders;
WHEREAS the BSA and many Boy Scout troops use public facilities;
WHEREAS the BSA dropped the UU Religion in Life emblem from its religious emblem program in May 1998 in response to the UUA’s inclusion in the Religion in Life program pamphlet a copy of the UUA Board’s 1992 resolution and other material mentioning the conflict between UU values and BSA policy;
WHEREAS the BSA rejected the newly revised version of the Religion in Life program on May 7, 1999, with Lawrence Ray Smith, Chairman of the BSA’s Religious Relationships Committee, stating that the supplemental information the UUA wanted to provide with the Religion in Life program would be “using boys as a venue to air your differences with the policies of the Boy Scouts of America”;
WHEREAS the BSA has maintained since the inception of the religious awards programs that the requirements are set by the denomination, the training in and certifying of the completion of the requirements is by local religious leaders, and the presentation of the award is by the local religious group and not by the BSA; and
WHEREAS we believe any attempt by the BSA to define what any religion can or cannot teach its Scouting youth is a clear interference with religious freedom;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the 1999 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association urges the Association to:
a. continue efforts to seek the reinstatement of the Religion in Life emblem and to offer the program and award the emblem to UU and other Scouts in the meantime.
b. publicize the Religion in Life program through Synapse, UU+Me, and other publications that are read by UU youth.
c. publicize the Religion in Life program through the World, REACH, and other publications that are read by parents and religious educators.
d. continue to use all appropriate venues to communicate this information to Unitarian Universalists and others about these conflicts.
e. encourage the BSA to monitor troops nationwide to be sure that all Scouts are being treated equally and fairly despite their religions beliefs or the degree to which their families may practice them.
f. support UU churches that choose to continue their charters with BSA troops while they work to try to change BSA’s discriminatory policies.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the 1999 General Assembly urges U.S. Unitarian Universalists and U.S. Unitarian Universalist congregations to: a. support the efforts of “Scouting for All” and other groups that seek to overturn the Boy Scouts’ discriminatory national policies.
b. continue to present the Religion in Life award to UU Scouts, and to encourage Scouts to wear it on their uniforms.
c. urge individual UU Scouts to remain in Scouting, and to encourage UU members to join Scouting, in order to work for change within the BSA.
d. engage in educational programming within our communities to inform UUs and others about these issues.
e. encourage the Boy Scouts of America to monitor troops nationwide to be sure that all scouts are being treated equally and fairly despite their religious beliefs or the degree to which their families may practice them.
f. encourage UU scouts to include their congregations in Scouting rites of passage such as the Religion in Life award and Eagle rank ceremony, and encourage the UUA and member congregations to develop Unitarian Universalist support materials for these ceremonies.
g. engage in dialogue with local Scout troops, councils, and the BSA on these issues.
h. ask local Scout troops to adopt anti-discrimination policies that include religious belief, sexual orientation, and gender identity.
i. provide the necessary tools to empower youth to take action on these issues.
j. speak out about these issues in our communities.
Support for Non-Discriminatory Corporate and Other Business Policies
1997 Action of Immediate Witness
In light of a recent vote by the Southern Baptist Convention to boycott the Disney Corporation because of Disney’s policy of recognizing and respecting all people regardless of race, national origin, sex, age, or sexual orientation, the 1997 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association reaffirms a tenet of its faith—”the inherent worth and dignity of every person”—and commends Disney’s and all other corporations’ policies that do not discriminate against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the 1997 General Assembly urges the Unitarian Universalist Association to notify Disney of its support for customer and employment policies that respect gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the 1997 General Assembly urges the Unitarian Universalist Association and all Unitarian Universalists to encourage corporate managers to institute such customer and employee affirming policies by intentionally and explicitly patronizing businesses with policies that acknowledge a respect for the diversity of the human community.
Opposing Legalization of Discrimination Against Gays, Lesbians, and Bisexuals
1992 Resolution of Immediate Witness
WHEREAS 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 Coloradans for Family Values have collected enough signatures and Oregon Citizens’ Alliance is collecting signatures to place on the Colorado and Oregon ballots proposed amendments to the state constitutions which would legalize discrimination against gays, lesbians, and bisexuals in those states, based solely on sexual orientation; and
WHEREAS three Colorado cities—Denver, Boulder, and Aspen—and Portland, Oregon, currently have in force ordinances prohibiting discrimination against gays, lesbians, and bisexuals which would all be invalidated if these amendments pass; and
WHEREAS an anti-gay and lesbian ordinance has already been adopted in Springfield, Oregon, and ballot initiatives have already been introduced by the voters in several cities including Irvine, Riverside, and Concord, California; Tampa, Florida; and Corvallis, Oregon; and the list continues to grow; and
WHEREAS the right-wing umbrella organization called Traditional Values Coalition which is behind these ballot initiatives in Colorado and Oregon continues to add new chapters that ignite hatred against gay, lesbian, and bisexual people and it is uncertain what city, state, or province will be targeted next; and
WHEREAS Coloradans opposed to that amendment have formed an organization called EPOColorado, the Equal Protection Campaign (Box 300476, Denver 80203, phone 303-839-5540) and Oregonians opposed to the amendment have formed the Campaign for a Hate-Free Oregon (Box 3343, Portland 97208-3343, phone 503-232-4501);
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the delegates of the 1992 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association are outraged at the hate campaigns going on in these states and at the possibility of legalization of discrimination based on sexual orientation if these constitutional amendments and ordinances pass;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the 1992 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association strongly urges all Unitarian Universalist Congregations to inform their members of the ballot initiatives in Colorado, Oregon, and other jurisdictions this November; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the 1992 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association urges all Unitarian Universalists to support EPOColorado and the Campaign for a Hate-Free Oregon with financial contributions and by writing letters to friends and relatives living
in those states, encouraging them to vote against the amendments.
Acceptance of Openly Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Persons in the United States Military
1993 Resolution of Immediate 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, including two resolutions adopted at the 1992 General Assembly that urged all Unitarian Universalists to support those who opposed the legalization of discrimination against lesbian, gay, and bisexual persons in Colorado and Oregon, and called for the Board of Trustees to express to the Boy Scouts of America its disapproval of the Boy Scouts’ policy of discrimination against gay and atheist scouts and leaders;
WHEREAS the President of the United States has expressed his intention to reverse the 50-year-old Department of Defense policy which systematically hunted down, threatened, intimidated, and discharged lesbian, gay, and bisexual persons from the U.S. military because of their orientation and not because of misconduct;
WHEREAS the United States Senate and House Armed Services Committees have held public hearings to further study the issue of lifting the ban; and
WHEREAS forces of intolerance, hate, and bigotry have mounted a campaign of distortions, half-truths, and outright lies about 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 FURTHER RESOLVED that the 1993 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association strongly urges all Unitarian Universalist congregations to inform their members of the President’s inten-tion to lift the military ban and urges all Unitarian Universalists to send their letters of support to the President and to members of Congress; and
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.
Supporting Legal Equity for Gays and Lesbians
1987 Business Resolution
WHEREAS, the 1970 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association (“UUA”) adopted a resolution calling on all UUA churches, fellowships, and organizations and society at large to end discrimination against gay and lesbian people and has repeatedly endorsed the goal of equality, dignity, and respect for all people, regardless of affectional or sexual orientation in resolutions adopted in 1974, 1975, 1977, 1980, and in 1984; and WHEREAS, in 1986 the United States Supreme Court decided in Bowers v. Hardwick that states may enforce laws governing private sexual behavior between consenting adults;
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; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: That when denominational meetings are held in locations where discriminatory laws exist, Unitarian Universalists planning and attending the meetings are urged to adopt creative program methods to support rescission of laws governing private sexual behavior between consenting adults and to support passage of laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: That the UUA Office of Lesbian and Gay Concerns work with the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and other human rights organizations to obtain information about organizations that practice or promote discrimination based on sexual orientation and distribute this information to all UUA societies and affiliated organizations; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: That upon receiving information about organizations which practice or promote discrimination based on sexual orientation, Unitarian Universalists and UU organizations be encouraged not to purchase or use products or services from these organizations until the discrimination ceases; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: That this resolution be conveyed by the President of the UUA to the President of the United States, members of the United States Senate and House of Representatives, Canadian governmental officials, continental media, and other appropriate individuals and organizations.
Gay and Lesbian Services of Union
1984 Business Resolution
WHEREAS, the Unitarian Universalist Association has repeatedly taken stands to affirm the rights of gay and lesbian persons over the past decade; and WHEREAS, legal marriages are currently denied gay and lesbian couples by state and provincial governments of North America; and
WHEREAS, freedom of the pulpit is a historic tradition in Unitarian Universalist societies;
BE IT RESOLVED: That the 1984 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association:
1. Affirms the growing practice of some of its ministers of conducting services of union of gay and lesbian couples and urges member societies to support their ministers in this important aspect of our movement’s ministry to the gay and lesbian community; and
2. Requests that the Department of Ministerial and Congregational Services:
b. distribute this information to Unitarian Universalist religious professionals and member societies;
c. develop printed material for ministers to assist them in planning and conducting services of union for gay and lesbian couples;
d. develop a pamphlet intended for laypersons which describes services of union for gay and lesbian couples and is distributed to member societies.
Gay Human Rights
1977 Business Resolution
WHEREAS, the bigotry and misinformation presented by the forces of the “Save Our Children” movement led by Anita Bryant encourage violations of the civil rights of gay people; and WHEREAS, human rights are not an issue on which there should be a vote by which the majority can deny rights to a minority; and
WHEREAS, the false propaganda using a religious basis for persecution strikes at the very foundation of the basic tenet of the Unitarian Universalist Association, to seek the truth and support the worth of all humans;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: That the General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association calls on all Unitarian Universalists to use their efforts in stopping such biased persecution and intolerance for the gay minority.
Office of Gay Concerns
1975 Business Resolution
WHEREAS, the 1973 and 1974 General Assemblies have voted to establish the Office of Gay Concerns as an integral part of the UUA to serve the needs of our churches and fellowships for education and help on gay concerns; and WHEREAS, the Office of Gay Concerns is funded from special grant funds outside the regular operating budget of the UUA; and
WHEREAS, the Office staff has had less than one-half year to function and cannot be fairly evaluated in terms of articulating a program based on the approved model of the Office;
BE IT RESOLVED: That the 1975 General Assembly:
1. Commends the Board of Trustees for its action of October 12, 1974 in implementing the General Assembly’s resolution to fund the Office of Gay Concerns; and
2. Endorses the action of the Board of Trustees in including continued funding for the Office of Gay Concerns in the grants section of the proposed UUA budget for 1975-76.
Office of Gay Concerns
1974 Business Resolution
WHEREAS, the General Assembly 1973 voted as a business resolution to urge the UUA Board of Trustees to create at the denominational headquarters an Office of Gay Concerns; and
WHEREAS, money was not available for the Office and the full benefit of the experience, talent, and status of the UUA to seek sources of funding outside the denominational budget was urged by the General Assembly and in its resolution; and
WHEREAS, a $600,000 grant of which $300,000 is in unrestricted program funds has since come to the denomination above the basic budget approved by the 1973 General Assembly and yet the Office has not been included in the items approved for funding from that grant;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: That the UUA Board be urged to include in the Grants Section of the 1974-1975 UUA Budget an item for $38,500 to establish the Office of Gay Concerns, such funds to take precedence over two items presently listed in the Grants Section: $24,000 from the Research Program and $14,500 from the Publicity and Television/Radio item; and
FURTHER RESOLVED: That such Office be established in accordance with the proposal
developed by the UUA Board and Administration in consultation with the UUA Gay Caucus’ Advisory Committee and as revised by the UUA Board at its meeting on June 24, 1974.
Discrimination Against Homosexuals and Bisexuals
1970 General Resolution
RECOGNIZING THAT: 1. A significant minority in this country are either homosexual or bisexual in their feelings and/or behavior;
2. Homosexuality has been the target of severe discrimination by society and in particular by the police and other arms of government;
3. A growing number of authorities on the subject now see homosexuality as an inevitable sociological phenomenon and not as a mental illness;
4. There are Unitarian Universalists, clergy and laity, who are homosexuals or bisexuals;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: That the 1970 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association: 1. 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:
b. private consensual behavior between persons over the age of consent shall be the business only of those persons and not subject to legal regulations;
c. 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;
2. Calls upon the UUA 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;
3. 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.