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.
What to read next: