Affirming and Celebrating our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning members
An important part of our mission as a church is diversity and inclusion. That’s why we display the rainbow flag symbol on our big road sign, and here on our website. We are what the Unitarian Universalist Association has officially recognized as a "Welcoming Congregation," a congregation where people of all sexual orientations or gender identities can find a spiritual home.
The Unitarian Universalist movement overall is committed to creating a safe and affirming place for all persons regardless of sexual orientations or gender identities. The Welcoming Congregation program was created in 1989 to help with the work of understanding homophobia and heterosexism in our congregations, and assisting us in moving to place of true welcome and affirmation.
As a UUA Welcoming Congregation, we have made a public commitment to:
- Be inclusive and expressive of the concerns of bisexual, gay, lesbian, and transgender persons at every level of congregational life.
- Celebrate the lives of all people and welcome same-gender couples, recognizing their committed relationships and equally affirming displays of caring and affection with regard to sexual orientation.
- Seek to nurture ongoing dialogue between bisexual, gay, heterosexual, lesbian, and transgender persons, and create deeper trust and sharing.
- Advocate for bisexual, gay, lesbian, and transgender people, attending to legislative developments and working to promote justice, freedom, and equality in the larger society.
UU Church West has been a Welcoming Congregation since 2006.
Our Stand on Same-Sex Marriage
In the fall of 2004, by a congregational vote UUCW passed a Statement of Conscience regarding same-sex marriage which reads as follows:
Unitarian Universalist Church West: Same-Sex Marriage Statement of Conscience
We, the members of the Unitarian Universalist Church West affirm that civil marriage is a civil right. Same-sex couples choose partners with whom to build a life, create a home, and offer their mutual support in good times and bad in the same manner and for the same reasons as heterosexual couples. We believe that civil marriage with its multitude of legal rights, responsibilities, privileges and protections affirms and promotes a more just, equitable, healthy society and should be provided to all couples.
As a congregation of the Unitarian Universalist Association, Unitarian Universalist Church West has covenanted to affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person according to the first principle of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations. We are called as a congregation to engage actively in the fulfillment of this principle.
One of the ways we do this is by working for the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) persons. Since 2002 we have been engaged in the process of becoming a Welcoming Congregation – a congregation which is open and affirming of GLBT persons. This designation is held by more than 400 Unitarian Universalist congregations, and is a way to actively support GLBT persons who are so often excluded from communities of faith. The UUA has been an advocate for GLBT rights since the 1970s.
The voices of exclusion, of persecution, and of intolerance are growing louder in the United States, and in Wisconsin. The current public debate centers on whether same-sex couples should be allowed the legal rights, privileges and responsibilities of civil marriage. We believe that discrimination in marriage, in the workplace, in housing or in education, should not be tolerated or sanctioned by law. We demand legislation that ensures equal rights for GLBT persons. The question at issue is not the right of gay and lesbian couples to demand religious sanction of their union, it is whether all citizens shall have the same legal protections, financial benefits, and social status that comes with the registering of a civil marriage.
Therefore, we resolve, as the members of the Unitarian Universalist Church West of Brookfield, Wisconsin, to take action to achieve full civil rights for GLBT persons. We do this as a congregation and as individuals. We will actively oppose constitutional, legislative or other efforts to limit the legal rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. We call upon our leadership, both clergy and lay, to take action. We pledge ourselves to support these actions, and we pledge to undertake our own.
For more about our commitment to GLBT issues, see GLBT Concerns.