Special PRIDE Month “UUism Has Left the Building”

This PRIDE month, we send our gratitude and appreciation to:

  • those from NP involved in our effort to become a UUA LGBTQ+ Welcoming Congregation 22 years ago in 2002
  • those from NP involved in supporting Equal Marriage 20 years ago in 2003–2004 (see the articles on the white board in Freeman Hall),
  • and those from NP involved since with McVagly LGBTQ+ Youth Group (founded 2009) and the LGBTQ+ Welcoming Faiths Coalition (founded 2011) in the Merrimack Valley.

McVagly has been meeting every Monday night for the past 15 years!  Tad Bickford was acknowledged on Sunday for his tremendous support of the group since its founding!

LGBTQ+ Welcoming Faiths is a coalition that was formed to support various area congregations in taking their own steps to become LGBTQ+ welcoming.

This week, at the local level, Faith Lutheran in Andover voted on Sunday to be a “RIC” church, or “Reconciling in Christ” congregation, that is reconciling and welcoming to LGBTIA+ parishioners. Thanks to Tad Bickford who participated on a panel this year as part of their “Listening and Learning” series as they discerned their path.

Last month, at the national level, as Pat Grimm said on Sunday, the national United Methodist church voted at its General Conference to remove mandatory penalties for UM clergy who performed same-sex weddings, and also removed the prohibition of LGBTQ folks from the UM ordained ministry.

The General Assembly of Unitarian Universalist Association of congregations has voted many times on equal rights for LGBTQ+ people.  For example:

  • 1973: A vote to establish an Office of Gay Concerns at the UUA. (51 years ago!)
  • 1980: A vote to end discrimination and renew commitment to calling LGBTQ+ UU ministers to lead congregations.
  • 1984: A vote to support ministers performing sex-sex services of union. (40 years ago!)
  • 1993: A vote to support the lift of a military ban against LGBTQ+ service members.
  • 1996: A vote to support the legal recognition of same sex marriages.
  • 2007: A vote to repeal the “Don’t’ Ask, Don’t Tell” military policy.

This year there will be a vote on a 2024 Business Resolution to embrace transgender, nonbinary and intersex people as a fundamental expression of Unitarian Universalist religious values. If voted in, congregations will be asked to take action including condemning all anti-transgender legislation and demanding the repeal of anti-transgender laws; supporting organizations that help people relocate or access health care including across state lines such as the Pink Haven Coalition; and participating in the UUA’s UPLIFT Ministries programs for LGBTQ+ people, and participating in the Welcoming Congregation renewal program.

You can read the language of the Resolution on page 77 of the final agenda of the 2024 General Assembly.

Currently, Cara Forcino and Susan Malloy are North Parish delegates; we have 5 more potential slots.  If you would like to represent North Parish and vote, please contact Board Co-Chairs Susan Malloy and Rick Briscoe ASAP at BoardofTrustees@northparish.org. General Assembly is entirely virtual this year; voting is done virtually and has an expanded time window. Click here to learn more about Virtual GA.