We march in the Gay Pride Parade each year.
In 2001, our members voted to become a “Welcoming Congregation” to gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people. Through our newsletter and occasional worship services on gay issues, our members are kept informed about homophobia. We have an active Diversity Team to encourage the congregation to be open and welcoming to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons, and promote the cause of LGBTI equality in the wider community. There is also a small section of books about GLBT matters in our library.
In 2000-2001, a Welcoming Congregation task force held a series of workshops on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues at the church, resulting in a congregational vote in May, 2001, affirming First Unitarian Church of Victoria as a “Welcoming Congregation.”
Later that year, a Welcoming Congregation Committee was formed to further the objectives of the task force and these policies and guidelines were suggested for it:
- Increasing the awareness of the congregation about gay/lesbian issues by keeping them informed
- Encouraging both adult and children’s religious education programs to incorporate g/l/b/t/q life issues where appropriate, including the “Our Whole Lives” program.
- Celebrating and affirming g/l/b//q issues and history during the church year, including Gay Pride Week in July and National Coming Out Day in October.
- Participating in and/or supporting efforts to create justice, freedom and equality for g/l/b/t/q people in the larger society.
- Establishing and maintaining contact with local g/l/b/t/q groups to offer support and promote dialogue and interaction.
In January, 2009, our church passed a congregational motion stating:
We seek to build a congregation and a society made whole by the empowerment of all. We seek to be a people of diverse racial identities, diverse ethnicities, diverse cultures, diverse languages. We celebrate the presence of people of all ages, abilities, and economic levels. We are welcoming to people of all sexual orientations and gender expressions. We value and celebrate diversity. We endeavour to reflect the diversity of our society in our congregation, organizations and community. We strive to respect all people. We hope that all who visit, join, participate, or serve our congregation will extend the same respect to those they meet here. In honour of the above, we seek to promote diversity, respect, and the inclusion of all, in our congregation and in our community.