“Because of the role that religion has historically played in denying gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people their full humanity, I believe that we now have a special calling to reach out to our GLBT sisters and brothers. We need to offer an explicit welcome, because the world can still be a very unwelcoming place. We need to offer radical acceptance, because neither family nor society can always be counted on to be accepting. We need to offer unconditional love, because Love is at the heart of religious community.”
Toronto First is a “Welcoming Congregation”. The Welcoming Congregation Program is a volunteer program of the Canadian Unitarian Council for congregations that want to become more inclusive towards bisexual, gay, lesbian, and transgender people.
We have many active LGBT members in our congregation. Our denomination has welcomed gay ministers for the last quarter century, long before most other religious groups.
Read our statement regarding same-sex couples passed at our Annual General Meeting in 2001.As we learned during our certification process, there are 6 stages to becoming an anti-heterosexist, multicultural institution that congregations work through as they move toward accepting diversity in affectional/sexual orientation as an asset:
- Stage 1: Exclusive: An Excluding Institution
- Stage 2: Passive: A “Club” Institution
- Stage 3: Symbolic Change: An Open Institution
- Stage 4: Analytic Change: An Awakening Institution
- Stage 5: Structural Change: A Redefining Institution
- Stage 6: Inclusive: A Transformed Institution
We are also a Green Sanctuary Congregation.