Unitarian Universalism is a caring, open-minded liberal religion. Our congregations are places where people gather to nurture their spirits and put their faith into action by helping to make our communities—and the world—a better place.
Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation extends a warm welcome to Atlanta’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) individuals, families, and communities. We work to promote acceptance, inclusion, understanding, and equity for LGBTQ persons of all ages, abilities, colors, and genders, both within our denomination and in society at large. We are committed to protecting the civil, reproductive and legal rights of LGBTQ people and families in Atlanta and across the country.
Northwest and other area UUs march in the 2015 Pride Parade.
We “Stand On The Side of Love” by affirming equal marital rights for all LGBTQ couples.
Members of Northwest completed the “Welcoming Congregation” program sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Association in October 2001. The Welcoming Congregation Program is a volunteer program for Unitarian Universalist congregations that want to take intentional steps to become more welcoming and inclusive of people with marginalized sexual orientations and gender identities.
First launched in 1990, the program grew out of an understanding that widespread prejudices and ignorance about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people existed within Unitarian Universalism, which resulted in the exclusion of LGBTQ people from our congregations. Today, 66% of U.S. Unitarian Universalist (UU) congregations and 94% of Canadian UU congregations are recognized as Welcoming Congregations. The program is supported by LGBTQ Ministries.
We have also incorporated our Welcoming Congregation program into our Social Justice actions. Our Social Justice ministry has been active protesting Georgia legislation known as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (SB 129) that would effectively provide legal coverage for those who wish to discriminate aging the LGBTQ community and others.
Rev. Davis also stood at the steps of the US Supreme Court when oral arguments were heard regarding access to equal marriage rights for all Americans.
As a congregation that publicly and successfully welcomes Atlanta’s LGBTQ people, we affirm to:
- Include and address the needs of LGBTQ persons at every level of congregational life – in worship, in programs, in social occasions and in rites of passage – welcoming not only their presence, but the gifts and particularities of their lives as well.
- Assume the presence of LGBTQ people and celebrate this diversity by having inclusive language and content in our worship.
- Fully incorporate the experiences of LGBTQ persons throughout all programs, including religious education.
- Include an affirmation and nondiscrimination clause in our by-laws and other official documents affecting all dimensions of congregational life, including membership, hiring practices, and the calling of religious professionals.
- Engage in outreach to the LGBTQ community in our advertising and by actively supporting LGBTQ affirmative groups.
- Celebrate the lives of all people and welcome same-sex couples, recognizing their committed relationships, and equally affirm displays of caring and affection without regard to sexual orientation.
- Seek to nurture ongoing dialogue between LGBTQ and heterosexual persons and to create deeper trust and sharing.
- Affirm and celebrate LGBTQ issues and history.
- Attend to legislative developments and work to promote justice and equality in the larger society.
- Speak out when the rights of LGBTQ people are at stake.