Monday, July 04, 2005

UCC Overwhelmingly Approves Marriage Equality

The United Church of Christ's (UCC) General Synod in Atlanta voted strongly today, first in committee then in the whole synod to support the marriage-equality resolution. Each member church will decide whether to follow this policy. The group has nearly 6,000 churches.

This is the first mainline Christian church association to do so. Smaller Protestant denominations, such as the Unitarian Universalist Association (in 1996), had previously done so.

The UCC announcement is here. The Atlanta daily covers it here.

The conservative UCC churches have the options of adopting the policy, ignoring it, or even leaving the group. At the extreme end:
The Rev. Brett Becker, who represents a group of the UCC's more conservative churches, said it's possible his congregation at St. Paul United Church of Christ in Cibolo, Texas, will leave the church over the resolution.

"I would like to see us stay in the denomination and network for positive change," said Becker. "However, many of my members have expressed very clearly that this decision would cause great consternation and that, if this happened, they would want to see us leave."
The 84-member committee that considered it gave it an almost unanimous up vote (smattering of voice no votes). About 80% of the 884-member synod supported it.

As well as asking UCC churches to marry without disciminating by gender, the resolution asks them to support same-sex-marriage legislation in their states.

The more conservative member churches had proposed a DoMA-style resolution instead.

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