HISTORY

AN OUTLINE OF OUR history of
WALKING toward justice WITH PEOPLE OF DIVERSE gender and sexual IDENTITIES and expressions within the united church of canada

Generously compiled by Jillian L. for Iridesce: The Living Apology Project.

 

This page is in progress. Please visit again as this page evolves.

We welcome your comments or questions: livingapology@gmail.com

1960

Toward Christian Understanding of Sex Love and Marriage: A First Report of the Commission on Christian Marriage and Divorce. Approved by the 19th General Council of The United Church, this document stated that homosexuality was a sin according to the United Church of Canada.

(Source: Of Love and Justice, Huntly, 2003, 34).

1962

Marriage Breakdown, Divorce, Remarriage: A Christian Understanding The Second and Final Report of the Commission on Christian Marriage and Divorce. Approved by the 20th General Council of the United Church of Canada.

(Source: Of Love and Justice, Huntly, 2003, 34)

1969

Homosexuality is made legal in Canada. (*more info to come)

1974

United Church publishes The Permanence of Christian Marriage.

(Source: Of Love and Justice, Huntly, 2003, 34)

1976

United Church of Canada states that it supports human rights for gay and lesbian people.

(Source: The United Church of Canada A History, Shweitzer, 2012, 214)

1977

27th General Council Affirmed that the final responsibility for the significance of the marriage service and all matters related to the conduct of weddings rests with the minister and the local church. 

(Of Love and Justice, Huntly, 2003, 34)

 

1980

United church publishes In Gods Image...Male and Female A study on Human Sexuality.

(Source: Of Love and Justice, Huntley, 2003, 34)

1982 

Affirm group created for inclusion of all in the United Church.

(Source: Of Love and Justice, Huntly, 2003, 375)

 

1984

30th General Council approves Gift, Dilemma, and Promise: A Report and Affirmations of Human Sexuality. This report affirmed acceptance of all human beings as persons made in the image of God, regardless of sexual orientation.

(Source: Of Love and Justice, Huntly, 2003, 38)

1984

Friends of Affirm group is created. 

1985

United Church publishes Living Together in Marriage, A Manual for Marriage-Education Leaders. Marriage in this manual is between a man and a woman. (Source: Of Love and Justice, Huntly, 2003, 34)

 

Moderator Bob Smith meets with Affirm and friends of Affirm (Source: Moving Toward Full Inclusion: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in the United Church of Canada 2nd edition, 2014, 26)

 

1986 

General Council conducts affirmative action to address issues of sexism in the church. (Source: The United Church of Canada A History, Shweitzer, 2012, 213)

1988

Membership, Ministry and Human Sexuality: A New statement of the United Church of Canada, published by the 32nd General Council which states that sexual orientation is not a barrier to full participation in the United Church of Canada and any member can seek a call for ordination. (Source: Of Love and Justice, Huntly, 2003, 34)

 

Community Of Concern group was created.

 

Svend Robinson is the first openly gay Member of Parliament of Canada. (Source: Daring To Be United: Including Lesbians and Gays in The United Church of Canada, Huntly, 1998, 60)

 

1990

33rd General Council receives 50 official petitions against ordination of gays and lesbians.  (Source: The United Church of Canada A History, Shweitzer, 2012,178)

 

General Council deems it inappropriate to ask about sexual orientation during the ordination process.  (Source: The United Church of Canada A History, Shweitzer, 2012, 214)

 

 

1992

Liturgical and pastoral resources for same sex covenants to be made available to congregations, 34th General council. (Source: Of Love and Justice, Huntly, 2003, 34)

 

Affirming Congregations program launched. (Source: Of Love and Justice, Huntly, 2003, 75)

 

First openly gay minister ordained (Source: Daring To Be United: Including Lesbians and Gays in The United Church of Canada, Huntly, 1998, 84)

 

 

1995

Together in Faith Inclusive Resources about Sexual Diversity for Study, Dialogue, Celebration and Action is published.

(Source: Of Love and Justice, Huntly, 2003, 34)

 

1997

36th General Council resolution requested that United Church regional Conferences urge all teachers unions and associations to provide
in-service education on gay, lesbian and bisexual issues.

(Source: Of Love and Justice, Huntly, 2003, 34)

 

1998

Daring to Be United; Including Lesbians and Gays in The United Church of Canada was published. The book explores gay and lesbian experiences in the United Church of Canada along with the struggles the Church faced in 1988 and the decade following. 

 

1999

Bill C-23 Modernization of Benefits and Obligations; the United Church appeared before the standing committee on Justice and Human Rights to support this Bill of the Canadian government.

(Source: Of Love and Justice, Huntly, 2003, 34)

2000

37th General Council adopted policy to affirm and work toward the civil recognition of same-sex partnerships.

(Source: Of Love and Justice, Huntly, 2003, 34)

 

Bill C-23 68 Canadian federal laws gave same-sex partners social benefits provisions previously avalible only to heterosexual couples.

(Source: Of Love and Justice, Huntly, 2003, 44)

 

2001

Same-sex couples included in Canadian Census for the first time.

(Source: Of Love and Justice, Huntly, 2003, 45)

 

2003

Of Love and Justice: Toward the Civil Recognition of Same-Sex Partnerships: A Congregational Guide for Study and Action is published by the United Church of Canada. Click to download a PDF of this document.

(Source: Of Love and Justice, Huntly, 2003, 34)

 

Passion and Freedom: A Resource for Ministers and Leaders Supporting the Lives of Couples is published. Click to UCRD link of this document.

(Source. Of Love and Justice, Huntly, 2003, 34).

 

38th General Council resolved to call on the Government of Canada to recognize same-sex marriage in marriage legislation.

(Source: Of Love and Justice, Huntly, 2003, 34)

2005

On July 20, 2005, the Canadian government changes marriage legislation to include same-sex marriage, becoming the fourth country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage.

(Source: Moving Toward Full Inclusion: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in the United Church of Canada, 2nd edition, 2014, 40)

 

Marriage: A United Church Understanding is published by the United Church of Canada. Click to download a PDF of this document.

 

 

2009

The church approves its commitment to inclusion, which states that, in matters respecting worship, doctrine, membership, and governance, the United Church is opposed to discrimination against any person on any basis (race, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical ability, socioeconomic status, age, language, or any other basis on which a person is devalued). The church further commits to becoming an anti-discriminatory and welcoming denomination.

(Source: http://www.united-church.ca/sites/default/files/resources/gender-trans-timeline.pdf, 2015, accessed 2017-06-28)

 

2010 

First openly transgender minister is ordained.

(Source: http://www.united-church.ca/sites/default/files/resources/gender-trans-timeline.pdf, 2015, accessed 2017-06-28)

2011

Three hundred eighty-three (383) people participate in a series of GLBTT national consultations with the Church, which provide opportunities for trans people, LGBQ people, and allies to help shape an open, welcoming, and affirming United Church. A report is offered to inform the directions of General Council 41 (GC41).

(Source: http://www.united-church.ca/sites/default/files/resources/gender-trans-timeline.pdf, 2015, accessed 2017-06-28)

 

 

2012

General Council acknowledges the difference between gender identity and sexual orientation.

(Source: Moving Toward Full Inclusion: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in the United Church of Canada 2nd edition, 2014, 4)

2014

Moving Toward Full Inclusion: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in the United Church of Canada, 2nd Edition is published as an ecumenical resource from the United Church’s Division of World Outreach.

(Source: Moving Toward Full Inclusion: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in the United Church of Canada 2nd edition, 2014, 2.
Link: http://www.united-church.ca/sites/default/files/resources/full-inclusion.pdf

2015

General Council 42 votes to have a national project of story-sharing and dialogue with people affected by the Church’s 1988 decision. 

2016

Celebrating Gender Diversity: A Toolkit on Gender Identity & Trans Experiences for Communities of Faith published by The United Church of Canada.

(Source: http://www.united-church.ca/sites/default/files/resources/trans-kit.pdf)

2017

Iridesce: The Living Apology Project is launched in May 2017, as a project of Affirm United/S'affirmer Ensemble and The United Church of Canada. It is a funded by Mission & Service.

This page is in progress. Please visit again as this page evolves.

We welcome your comments, questions and updates to this history.

Please email us at livingapology@gmail.com. Thank you.

 
A Toolkit on Gender Identity and Trans Experiences for Communities of Faith
Moving Toward Full Inclusion: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in The United Church of Canada
Marriage: Moving Toward Full Inclusion: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in The United Church of Canada
Marriage: Moving Toward Full Inclusion: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in The United Church of Canada
Marriage: Moving Toward Full Inclusion: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in The United Church of Canada

Photo: Pride March on University Ave in Toronto, 1972. Image: © Jearld Moldenhauer. jearldmoldenhaur.com

Marriage: Moving Toward Full Inclusion: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in The United Church of Canada
Marriage: Moving Toward Full Inclusion: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in The United Church of Canada
Marriage: Moving Toward Full Inclusion: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in The United Church of Canada
Marriage: Moving Toward Full Inclusion: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in The United Church of Canada
A Toolkit on Gender Identity and Trans Experiences for Communities of Faith
Marriage: Moving Toward Full Inclusion: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in The United Church of Canada
Marriage: Moving Toward Full Inclusion: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in The United Church of Canada
Marriage: Moving Toward Full Inclusion: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in The United Church of Canada
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