Support the United Church of Christ's Bold, Public Voice
The United Church of Christ is a church of "firsts." We were the first denomination to ordain a woman. We were the first predominately white denomination to ordain an African American. We were the first Protestant denomination to ordain an openly gay man. And we were the first mainline Christian denomination to support same-sex marriage.
On April 28th, we also became the first national Christian denomination to challenge a state's marriage laws on the grounds that they violate First Amendment rights of freedom of religion.
Freedom of religion is an essential right. It is a Constitutional right for you, for me, for our clergy, for our churches. The United Church of Christ will always boldly stand for equality for all of God's beloved community.
Support Religious Freedom | The United Church of Christ
The United Church of Christ (http://www.uccpages.org/ido) supports the religious freedom of all people and filed a landmark lawsuit in North Carolina, arguing that the state's marriage laws violate every American's First Amendment rights.
The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects the religious freedom of all Americans ("Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...); yet, North Carolina's marriage laws make it a criminal offense for clergy to conduct a religious commitment ceremony without a marriage license.
That means that a minister who wants to bless two people in his or her church sanctuary -- because of his or her own faith convictions and the support of the denomination, in the case of the United Church of Christ -- has to choose between the law and his or her parishioners. If found guilty of performing this ceremony, a minister can face up to 120 days in jail and/or probation and community service and up to a $200 fine.
A Message from The United Church of Christ General Minister and President | The UCC Files Landmark Lawsuit in North Carolina
The General Synod of the United Church of Christ (UCC) filed a lawsuit, Monday, April 28, 2014 in U.S. District Court in Charlotte, arguing that North Carolina marriage laws limit ministers’ choices, violate the principle of “free exercise of religion” upon which the church is built, and restricts the freedoms of religion and expressive association guaranteed in the First Amendment. Hear a word from the Rev. Geoffrey A. Black, General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ, on the denomination's decision to join this landmark case.