Gender, Sexuality, and Orientation

We affirm that gender and sexuality are gifts of God, and welcome people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.

What We Believe

The United Church affirms that gender and sexuality are gifts of God, and that all persons are made in the image of God. We welcome into full membership and ministry people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. The United Church is opposed to discrimination against any person on any basis by which a person is devalued (search “Commitment to Inclusion” on United Church Commons).

The struggle for justice against sexism and gender-based violence, and towards justice for people of all gender identities and sexual orientations, are fundamental ways in which the United Church seeks to transform structures and systems and be faithful to God's vision for humanity.

Even as we seek to eliminate sexism, misogyny, homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia, we know that we, too, are guilty of these forms of oppression. We acknowledge the roles that Christianity and religion in general play in such oppression. We hear the call to take action to end all forms of discrimination. We acknowledge that the work of justice is not just about how we treat people who enter the four walls of our church; what matters is how we treat people out in the world. We are committed to journeying to where all people live in justice and peace together.

What You Can Do

Learn More

Learn more with resources such as Celebrating Gender Diversity and Moving Towards Full Inclusion, as well as the additional recommended resources and timelines available under Downloads, below. Note: Moving Towards Full Inclusion is available as a PDF in French on our French-language site or in Spanish or Korean by request. Please e-mail  justice [at] united-church.ca with your request.

Other resources you may wish to explore:

United Church Groups

  • United Church Women is a national group with a presence in United Church regions and local faith communities. Learn more about Celebrating United Church Women.
  • As One That Serves (AOTS) are men’s groups based in local communities of faith. AOTS is no longer a national organization; check with your local United Church about local groups.
  • The United Church Trans Network is for trans people and allies. Send your request to join by e-mail to transgender [at] united-church.ca

Partners

Social Media

Last updated: 
March 10, 2020

Katherine Brittain writes about Camp Pringle's experiment of "Gender Inclusion Week" and how its success provides a model for welcoming children and families of all kinds to be part of the camping experience.

Published on: 
March 2, 2020
Last updated: 
March 2, 2020
Moderator Richard Bott invites communities of faith across Canada to celebrate PIE Day on March 14, a day to celebrate the Public, Intentional, and Explicit affirmation of the LGBTQIA+ and Two-Spirit community.
Published on: 
February 19, 2019
Last updated: 
January 13, 2020
Moderator Richard Bott offers a prayer, and invites the United Church to join in, for the United Methodist Church as it prepares to vote on human sexuality.
Last updated: 
September 5, 2019

The Iridesce Project aspires to be a community movement of reflection and reconciliation as we approach the 30th anniversary of the vote of The United Church of Canada not to reject gay and lesbian people from membership and eligibility for ordination… and as we reflect on the past 30 years of welcome, inclusion, and affirmation of LGBTQ+ and Two-Spirit people, their family, friends, and allies in our churches.

The whole church is invited to participate in this process of sharing and hearing, acknowledgement, lament, celebration, and healing. Iridesce invites many voices, and many...

Published on: 
January 29, 2018
Last updated: 
December 2, 2019
Moderator Jordan Cantwell invites all people affected by The United Church of Canada’s 1988 decision to share their stories with Iridesce: The Living Apology Project.
Published on: 
September 20, 2017
Last updated: 
March 12, 2019
A national project of story-sharing with all people affected by the church’s 1988 decision.
Published on: 
June 2, 2017
Last updated: 
March 12, 2019
As communities mark Pride celebrations, may God inspire us to build bridges of hope and love rather than walls of hatred and fear.
Last updated: 
September 5, 2019

My name is Rachel Hearn and I was a camp counsellor at Welcome Friend’s Rainbow Camp for LGBTQ and Allied Youth ages 12-17 from 2013-2015. To say the least, it was a life-altering experience.

My studies in the Sexual Diversity Studies program at University of Toronto introduced me to Queer Theory which critiques all things oppressively normal. It resists the powerful institutions and social forces that try to fit us into a tiny box called “normal’...

Last updated: 
September 5, 2019

Moderator Jordan Cantwell had a busy November. It started with her keynote address at an LBGT conference in Jakarta, Indonesia. She then “chilled” at a youth forum in British Columbia, before heading back to Toronto to take part in difficult discussions during a two-day meeting of the Executive of the General Council. She discussed the importance of these three events with Paul Russell.

Paul: In early November, you were a keynote speaker at Amplify 16, a lesbian, gay, bisexual,...

Last updated: 
September 5, 2019

My visit to Jakarta, Indonesia, to take part in the Amplify 16 Conference, has been an eye-opening experience.

On the opening day I offered the morning keynote address at an LGBTIQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and questioning) symposium. It was hosted by the Jakarta Theological Seminary, one of only two LGBT-affirming seminaries in Asia. When seminary principal Stephen Suleeman invited me to the conference, he explained that many Indonesian...