Religious Support for Marriage Equality Marches Forward
BY Trudy Ring
September 04 2014 5:00 AM ET
Above: Gloria and Linda Bailey-Davies, members of First Parish Brewster, a Unitarian Universalist congregation in Massachusetts, were plaintiffs in their state's marriage equality litigation.
Unitarian Universalist Association
The Unitarian Universalist Association has been ordaining out gay and lesbian ministers since the 1970s, and it ordained its first openly transgender clergy member in 1988. It has been blessing same-sex unions for decades — the first one may have taken place as far back as the 1950s — and in 1984 it adopted a formal church policy providing for such ceremonies, followed by an endorsement of equal access to marriage in 1996. The denomination also has a long record of advocating for civil marriage equality and other LGBT causes. Church leaders have been speaking out against antigay discrimination since the 1970s, and the UUA has had an Office of Gay Concerns — now called Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Ministries — since 1971.