Contents: UU World Back Issue

Nationwide response to marriage issue


Two Unitarian Universalist ministers, the Rev. Kay Greenleaf and the Rev. Dawn Sangrey, face misdemeanor charges of solemnizing marriages without a license for more than twenty same-sex couples in New Paltz, N.Y., on March 6. Greenleaf and Sangrey followed the initiative of New Paltz Mayor Jason West, who started performing civil marriages for same-sex couples in February and stopped in early March when charged with the same offense.

While Unitarian Universalist ministers have been performing religious ceremonies for same-sex couples for the past 35 years, Greenleaf and Sangrey said publicly that the ceremonies they performed on March 6 were civil ceremonies. Instead of signing marriage licenses, the ministers signed notarized affidavits of marriage.

Among other developments as same-sex marriage activism spread from Massachusetts to the West Coast and back to New York:

  • The First Unitarian Church of Portland, Oreg., in Multnomah County, which has issued thousands of marriage licenses to same-sex couples, conducted ceremonies for about 20 of its own members in March and announced that it welcomes couples from all over the country desiring to marry.
  • Seven same-sex couples applied for a marriage license at the Orange County Courthouse in Orlando, Fla. After being refused, several couples participated in a ceremony of union organized by the First Unitarian Church of Orlando in a public park.
  • The UUA has created the President's Freedom to Marry Fund to ensure that a liberal religious voice is part of the public discussion on same-sex marriage. For more information go to www.uua.org/giving/ftmfund.html.

 Contents: UU World Back Issue
: 47

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