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

Published on: 
July 7, 2016

Canadians have made huge progress in advancing LGBTI rights here. But what about the rest of the world? Is there something in our experience from which others could draw? How might we act in solidarity with people who live under more repressive regimes?

These were some of the questions that drew about 70 people from 30 organizations to the Dignity Initiative Roundtable in Ottawa June 1-2. The Dignity Initiative came about after efforts in 2014 to press the government of Canada to play a more...

Published on: 
June 30, 2016

When the Toronto Pride Parade hits the streets on July 3, Rachel Lauren Clark will be marching and celebrating. The Emmanuel College theology student is very happy that organizers of this year’s Pride celebrations “made an effort to be much more adept at highlighting trans people and trans issues, plus the unique struggles they face.”

That awareness campaign got off to a big start early in June, when Clark, who transitioned in 2013, threw out the ceremonial first pitch at a Toronto Blue Jays game. That toss—“a really good...

Published on: 
April 1, 2016

Many church ministries are going through a process to declare that they are Affirming—enabling the full participation of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.  Despite these efforts, stories of heartache and healing continue to unfold. 

In 2011 a series of events were held to listen to the experiences of LGBTQ* people in the United Church. At one of these events a trans participant lamented, “after coming out I was informed that [the church] did not want me to stay… I had no opportunity to...

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