We think it is important to be welcoming not only of LGBTQ+ people, but of all people, including (and not limited to), people of different genders, gender identities, races, ethnicities, ages, and abilities, as well as sexual orientations.
CUUC has a proud history of first becoming a Welcoming Congregation on May 15, 2005. Ten years later, in 2015, the assessment process began to do additional work to renew that status to update the awareness of our Congregation through two years of special presentations on Gender and Orientation, Panel Discussions, film showings, special Sunday services and participation in OWL Programs. On May 22, 2018 we completed the process of renewing our status as a Welcoming Congregation, recognized by an acceptance letter from the Unitarian Universalist Association. We had a special LGBTQ Welcoming Congregation Celebration at our May 27, 2018 Sunday Service. The decision for CUUC to renew as a Welcoming Congregation was then passed by unanimous vote of our congregation shortly thereafter at our June 2, 2018 Annual Meeting.
Since then our Religious Education students helped produce pronoun tags to attach to our name badges to show gender inclusivity towards TGNCNB (transgender, gender non conforming and non binary) people who attend services. We have continued to do presentations on Trans and Non Binary Identities, special Sunday services on Gender and Spirituality and Transgender Day of Remembrance. Most notably members of our congregation did legislative advocacy to protect the rights of LGBTQ+ people in New York State that helped pass laws against LGBT conversion therapy, the “panic” defense, and the long awaited Gender Expression Non Discrimination Act (GENDA) which was originally penned by a member of our congregation, Joann Prinzivalli, Esq. some 16 years earlier.
Our desire to be a Welcoming Congregation is a public statement that we affirm and include LGBTQ+ people at every level of congregational life—in worship, in program, and in social occasions – welcoming them as whole people.
As a Welcoming Congregation we have pledged to:
- honor the lives of all people and equally affirm displays of caring and affection without regard for sexual orientation.
- celebrate diversity by using inclusive language and content in worship.
- incorporate an understanding of the experience of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender non-conforming, non binary and queer persons throughout all of our programs, including religious education.
- affirm and celebrate lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer issues and history.
- affirm marriage equality and conduct same-sex weddings.
- advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people, promoting justice, freedom, and equality in the larger society. We speak out when the rights and dignity of lesbian, gay, bisexual, TGNCNB and queer people are at stake.
We recognize that there’s always something more to learn, and remain open to deepening our understanding about the lives of LGBTQ+ people. We seek more allies to join our CUUC LGBTQIA Social Justice Team, and we wish to be worthy to particularly welcome any LGBTQ+ person who may be looking for a spiritual home.