Pride Season and People of Faith

by Karen Kulm, First Congregational United Church of Christ, Vancouver, WA
June is International LGBT Pride month, commemorating the anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion of June 1969. Stonewall is celebrated as the beginning of the modern movement for the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

In 1972, the United Church of Christ (UCC) ordained the Rev. Bill Johnson, the first openly gay person ordained in a mainline Protestant church. In 2005, the General Synod of the UCC voted overwhelmingly to “affirm equal marriage rights for couples regardless of gender,” thereby becoming the first mainline denomination, and the largest Christian denomination in the world, to support same-sex marriage. Yet now in 2013, only twelve states and the District of Columbia allow same-sex marriage. Twenty-nine states still have no law barring workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation, and 34 states also lack such state protections based on gender identity.

Kicking Off the Summer of Love

Washington State last year, and now Rhode Island, Delaware, and Minnesota in recent weeks have all extended the freedom to marry to every loving, committed couple.  Now it’s Oregon’s turn, and it will take all of us to make it happen.

Join Oregon United for Marriage for the Summer of Love kickoff to step up the campaign to win marriage right here at home.  Meet Saturday, June 8, 10 AM – 2 PM at Bethel Congregational United Church of Christ, 5150 SW Watson Ave., Beaverton, OR 97005.  You’ll get an up-to-the minute campaign update and launch the community conversation with fellow Oregonians.

Volunteers like you will help to collect the thousands of signatures required to put the marriage equality measure on the ballot in November 2014–and we may be able to start gathering signatures sooner than we originally expected!  It’s the beginning of Pride month—a perfect time to tell our stories and change hearts and minds. Don’t forget to bring a friend!

Register for the event here: Oregon United for Marriage.