December 21, 2001
Commission of Canada
The Law Commission of Canada, in its role as Parliament's advisor to the Justice Minister, released a report, Beyond Conjugality, which recommends removing restrictions on marriages between persons of the same sex.
The First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto
At its Annual General Meeting on May 28, 2001, the First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto voted to support same-sex marriage. In an atmosphere of excitement and pride, the members of First Unitarian voted overwhelmingly to support the legal recognition of same-sex relationships within the institution of marriage.
The congregation also voted to support the Metropolitan Community Church Toronto in its use of the banns to officiate same-sex marriages. The MCC has already used this method to marry two couples. The members of First Unitarian will support their ministers should they choose to use the banns as a means to officiate same-sex marriages.
Mark Morrison-Reed, co-minister, explains: Marriage is the legal/sacramental recognition of the love between two individuals and their commitment to care and support one another in good times and bad. Such familial commitments are the primary bond that holds society together. The rights that are accorded a married couple are based on the prior acceptance of the responsibilities in marriage. Unions between same-sex couples, like traditional marriages, should be recognized as sacred and worthy of protection and respect.
The First Unitarian Congregation was established 1845. We are an open-hearted, tolerant, non-doctrinal faith. Visit our website at www.firstunitariantoronto.org .
Resources about faith and homosexuality:
Kevin Bourassa and Joe Varnell, "Just Married: Gay Marriage and the Expansion of Human Rights", (2002), Doubleday / University of Wisconsin Press.
John Boswell's "Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality", (1980), University of Chicago Press.
"Does the Bible Condemn Homosexuality? An Interview with Dr. Reverend Cheri DiNovo", The Turning Magazine, Summer, 2004
Hill and Rand Cheadle, "The Bible Tells Me So - Uses and Abuses of
Holy Scripture", (1996), Anchor Books.
Tom Horner, "Jonathan Loved David: Homosexuality in Biblical Times", (1978), Philadelphia: Westminster Press.
Vaughn Roste, "The Queer-positive Bible", a paper presented at the Diversity Conferences of Alberta, March 9, 2002
Open letter to religious leaders on marriage equality, (2004), Religious Institute on Sexual Morality, Justice, and Healing
Scrogg, "The New Testament and Homosexuality"
Bishop John Shelby Spong, "Rescuing the Bible From Fundamentalism", (1992), Harper San Francisco
"What We Wish We Had Known: Breaking the Silence, Moving Toward Understanding. A Resource for Individuals and Families", The Presbyterian Church, Mt. Kisco, New York, Third Edition.