Marriage Equality

Watch Faith and Morality Play Major Roles in Gay Marriage Debate on PBS.
Aspects of religion and morality have been used as the basis for arguments by both sides of the debate on same-sex marriage. Ray Suarez talks with Michael Schuenemeyer, minister for the United Church of Christ, and Richard Langer, a minister with the Evangelical Free Church of America, to learn how they’ve approached the topic.

The UCC is part of the United for Marriage Coalition.

Click here to see photos from the Interfaith Service and Rallies at the U.S. Supreme Court for the oral arguments in the two marriage cases: Hollingsworth v. Perry (Prop 8) and Windsor v. United States (Defense of Marriage Act – DOMA), March 26 & 27, 2013.

Marriage Equality and the UCC

Marriage is one of the most significant institutions in our culture. The sacred and civil, church and state dimensions of marriage are complex and often muddled, which makes marriage one of the most challenging issues to discuss in the church and beyond.

On July 4, 2005, at the 25th General Synod of the United Church of Christ in Atlanta, delegates voted to adopt the resolution, “Equal Marriage Rights for All” The resources below are provided to help facilitate conversations and study throughout the church and society on this complex and challenging matter which has important implications for individuals, families and the wider community. They are intended to get people of faith talking about the purposes of marriage, looking more closely at how marriage has evolved and changed through time biblically and socially, exploring the theology of marriage, and critically discerning the appropriate roles for the church and the state in marriage.

The colleagues who worked together to prepare these resources join the Conference Ministers of the United Church of Christ who, in calling us to this important dialog say, “let us explore our faith in relation to these issues: the meaning of Christian marriage, the blessing of unions among same-sex couples, the honoring of diverse expressions of loving and caring human relationships, being guided in all things by the love of Jesus. Above all, may these conversations be ventured in humility and prayer.”

General Synod 25 (2005) Marriage Resolution

Equal Marriage Rights for All [PDF]

Equal Marriage Rights for All with background text [PDF]

Reflections by General Minister and President, The Rev. John H. Thomas

Call to Action and Invitation to Dialogue, UCC Executive Council (2004)

Call to Dialogue, UCC Conference Ministers (1996)


Inclusive Liturgy from the UCC Book of Worship

Order for Marriage – an inclusive version [PDF]

Certificate – An embossed certificate for presentation to a couple at their covenant service (envelope included).
Produced by the UCC Coalition for LGBT Concerns.  Click here to order online, or call UCC Resources at 800-537-3394.

God Is Still Speaking about Marriage [Newly Revised, June 2008]
Recommended by General Synod 25

  • An in depth Christian education study resource on marriage, including marriage equality for same gender loving couples.
    Free Download [PDF] or call UCC Resources to order [Item# WCMGSM], 800-537-3394800-537-3394.
  • Sacred Covenants, Faithful Conversation, a DVD resource for talking about marriage.
    This DVD contains two items: a 30 minute video on the question of marriage equality in light of the resolution adopted by General Synod 25 (2005) and the 45 minute floor debate on the marriage equality resolution at General Synod 25.  Order from UCC Resources or call (toll free) 800-537-3394800-537-3394, Item# WCMSCFC

UCC Coalition for LGBT Concerns


  • Marriage Equality Debate
    This is an audio link to a debate on the civil right to marry for same sex couples held at Stanford University School of Law, on April 20, 2005. The participants in the debate were Evan Wolfson, Executive Director of Freedom to Marry and Rev. Lou Sheldon, President of the Traditional Values Coalition. 



  • Same-Sex Marriage? A Christian Ethical analysis by Marvin Ellison, (Pilgrim Press 2004)
  • What God Has Joined Together, A Christian Case for Gay Marriage by David G. Myers and Letha Dawson Scanzoni (Harper San Francisco 2005)
  • Gay Unions in the Light of Scripture, Tradition and Reason by Gray Temple (Church Publishing 2004)
  • Why Marriage Matters, America, Equality and Gay People’s Right to Marry by Evan Wolfson (Simon and Schuster 2004)
  • Same Sex Unions in Premodern Europe by John Boswell (Vintage Books 1994)
  • Christianity and the Making of the Modern Family by Rosemary Radford Ruether (Beacon Press 2000)

Press Releases

To the faithful who worked to defeat Question 1 in Maine




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