The United Church of Christ has officially endorsed same sex marriage. It is the first major denomination to do so. After Spain, Belgium, then Netherlands and Canada have all approved fully or in part pro-same sex marriage laws, this has to be seen as a major blow to some more conservative backers of ‘traditional marriage.’ The historic vote by the members of the church overwhelmingly affirmed equal marriage rights regardless of gender.
The marriage equality resolution (1) affirms equal marriage rights for couples regardless of gender and declares that the government should not interfere with couples regardless of gender who choose to marry and share fully in the rights, responsibilities and commitment of legally recognized marriage; (2)affirms equal access to the basic rights, institutional protections and quality of life conferred by the recognition of marriage, (3) calls for an end to rhetoric that fuels hostility, misunderstanding, fear and hatred expressed toward gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons, (4) asks officers of the church to communicate the resolution to local, state and national legislators, urging them to support equal marriage rights, (5) calls upon all settings of the church to engage in serious, respectful and prayerful discussion of the covenantal relationship of marriage and equal marriage rights, (6) calls upon congregations, after prayerful, biblical, theological, and historical study, to consider adopting Wedding Policies that do not discriminate against couples based on gender, and (7) urges congregations and individuals of the UCC to prayerfully consider and support local, state and national legislation to grant equal marriage rights to couples regardless of gender, and to work again legislation, including constitutional amendments, which denies rights to couples based on gender.
I do find it very interesting that they only encourage member congregations to make this resolution part of their church and don’t require it.
Cross post from http://www.iwt.blogspot.com