Written by Gregg Brekke
By a unanimous approval Sunday morning, a resolution to raise awareness of international instances of systematic discrimination, violence and abuse targeting persons based on their sexual orientation or gender identity was forwarded to General Synod 28 for vote.
The resolution, titled “Supporting International Human Rights Related to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity,” now goes to the Plenary floor for a GS delegate vote.
The resolution centers on instances in which such abuse is not prohibited by law but rather legally, politically, socially or even religiously sanctioned.
Submitted by Wider Church Ministries, the resolution seeks to commit the UCC to advocate for fair and equal application of universal human rights principles and laws toward the protection of all persons from sexual or gender status-based abuse, discrimination or criminal prosecution. It concerns contexts in which abuse is not prohibited by law but rather legally, politically, socially or even religiously sanctioned.
The committee reviewed a resolution from the 10th GS (1975) that declared, “In faithfulness to the biblical and historic mandate, we hold that, as a child of God, every person is endowed with worth and dignity that human judgment cannot set aside.” (A Pronouncement: Civil Liberties Without Discrimination Related to Affectional or Sexual Preference). Previous General Synod and Executive Council actions have declared faithful support for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (GS 2, 1959) and committed to the church to seek the full application of international human rights (GS 12, 1979);
The resolution cites international human rights standards that delineate the positive obligations a nation must fulfill for its residents to live fully human lives. It also affirms that collectively, these liberties and obligations define the “common good” and implicate government to be proactive in the establishment and maintenance of that good; and International human rights standards can provide common language to describe universal concerns, including promises and claims to justice that transcend any one nation.