A response to the Supreme Court ruling on Obergefell v Hodges
The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Athens (UUFA) celebrates the recent Supreme Court decision regarding Obergefell v Hodges and Consolidated Cases. Our Unitarian Universalist (UU) principles affirm the inherent worth and dignity of all persons, no matter what their gender or sexual identity. UUFA gratefully receives this decision to overturn bans on same-sex marriages and will immediately begin performing marriages for licensed same-sex couples. “Some same-sex couples in my congregation have been waiting years for their long-term committed relationships to be legally recognized in Georgia. I look forward to officiating at their marriages,” notes The Reverend Alison W. Eskildsen, UUFA’s parish minister.
Beyond the UU Fellowship in Athens, UU congregations and clergy nationwide include lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) persons and have solemnized religious commitment ceremonies and marriages for same-sex couples for years. Unitarian Universalists have publicly supported such practices since 1984. Rev. Eskildsen claims, “We value diversity in religious beliefs as well as sexual and gender expression. We strive to create inclusive religious communities that encourage people to bring all of who they are into our congregations. All people are sacred. All people are welcome.”
Since 1961, members of UUFA’s national organization, the Unitarian Universalist Association, have voted to endorse equal rights for LGBTQ persons. Educational curriculum including issues of sexual orientation have been used in UU and United Church of Christ congregations since 1971 when About Your Sexuality was jointly published by these two denominations. About Your Sexuality was incorporated into a newer comprehensive lifespan sexuality curriculum, Our Whole Lives, taught at UUFA. For more information about this human sexuality program, please go to UUFA’s website or follow this link: http://www.uuathensga.org/education/owl/.
UUFA officially became a ‘Welcoming Congregation’ in 1996. This designation means the congregation underwent a year of study and discussion, then voted to be so designated as a way to communicate their affirmation of the inherent worth and dignity of all persons. After nearly 20 years of proudly displaying an inclusive rainbow flag, the Fellowship greets this historic cultural moment with joy.