From The Christian Century:
The United Church of Christ, with its traditionally liberal leadership, has often passed resolutions at national gatherings that seemed "ahead of their time." Such was the case when the UCC's biennial General Synod in 1993 "strongly urged" the U.S. government to end the ban against gays and lesbians in military service. But it wasn't until the U.S. Senate voted 65 to 31 last month to pass a House-approved bill and President Obama signed the repeal into law in pre-Christmas actions that UCC activists could claim vindication.
Although the 17-year-old military policy carried the label of possible anonymity—"don't ask, don't tell"—some 13,500 openly lesbian, gay and bisexual persons were discharged from the military in that period.
In a letter from Obama released December 22 at the bill's signing, the president said, "Gay and lesbian service members—brave Americans who enable our freedoms—will no longer have to hide who they are." Before the law signing, Obama encouraged once-discharged military personnel to reenlist: "We will be honored to welcome you into the ranks."
The United Church of Christ noted in its 1993 synod resolution that the Cleveland-based denomination, which has about 1.2 million members in auto nomous congregations, had pioneered the ordination of openly gay ministers decades earlier. Its General Synod of 1975 affirmed "the full participation of gays and lesbians in church and society."
Related Post: It Is Good: Family & Community In The Tradition Of Jesus (A Sermon For Pride Sunday)
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