Queer History Month: Unitarian Universalism

Since 2018, October has been Queer History Month at McGill and here at MORSL we will be highlighting stories about queerness and faith throughout the month. This article gives a glimpse into the history of Unitarian Universalism and LGBTQ+ inclusion.

Did you know? Winnipeg’s Unitarian Universalist Church performed Canada’s first same-sex church wedding in 1974. Although same-sex marriage wasn’t legalized in Canada until 2004, Richard North and Chris Vogel were issued a marriage certificate by the church 40 years beforehand. However, they have never been granted an official marriage license, despite a protracted legal battle at the Manitoba Human Rights Commission. Check out a 2004 interview with the couple here.

More generally, Unitarian Universalism has a long history of social justice and LGBTQ+ inclusion. The vast majority of Canadian UU churches have participated in the “Welcoming Congregation” program, which sees congregations take active steps to become more inclusive and affirming towards LGBTQ+ folks. Since the 1970s, their holistic and comprehensive human sexuality program (Our Whole Lives) includes modules adapted for young children, teens and adults and affirms queer, trans, and non-binary identities in age-appropriate language.

To find out more about Unitarians in Canada and the various young adult programs, check out the Canadian UU website.

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