UU clergy prominent in Michigan marriage equality, and other UUs in the media

By Rachel Walden UU ministers across Michigan married dozens of same-sex couples
The Rev. Dr. Claudine Oliva of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Flint, Mich., was eager to perform wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples and was also hopeful about having her own union be recognized by the state. (minbcnews.com – 3.24.14)
Once Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage was struck down, the Rev. Yvonne Schumacher Strejcek of the Community Unitarian Universalists in Brighton, Mich., planned to conduct same-sex weddings in her church and affirmed that the court’s ruling should be the final word on the issue. (Daily Press & Argus – 3.23.14)
The Rev. Bill Freeman of Harbor Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Muskegon, Mich., was ready to marry as many same-sex couples as possible once the state’s ban was overturned. He performed many individual and group wedding ceremonies last Saturday. (WZZM 13 – 3.22.14)
The Rev. Kathryn A. Bert of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Greater Lansing, Mich., was thrilled to perform wedding ceremonies at the local courthouse, especially a ceremony for two longtime members of her church. (Lansing State Journal – 3.23.14)
The Rev. Kimi Riegel of Northwest Unitarian Church in Southfield, Mich., helped marry hundreds of couples at a courthouse in Oakland County, Mich., and said that she had been waiting her whole ministry for this opportunity. (pridesource.com – 3.22.14)
The Rev. Cynthia Landrum of the Unitarian Universalist Church of East Liberty in Clarklake, Mich., married couples at the Washtenaw County Building in Ann Arbor on Saturday. (The Detroit News – 3.21.14)
The Rev. Jeff Liebmann of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Midland, Mich., was prepared to marry same-sex couples but was unable to do so due to the Attorney General’s stay of the U.S. District Court’s ruling. (mlive.com – 3.22.14)
After Michigan Attorney General Bill Shuette issued a stay on the overturned ban on same-sex marriage, the Rev. Colleen Squires and the Rev. Fred Wooden and their congregations joined a rally in Grand Rapids, Mich., to voice their hope to marry same-sex couples legally very soon. (mlive.com – 3.23.14)
Other Michigan marriage equality stories include:
“Mich. won’t recognize first wave of gay marriages” (The Boston Globe – 3.24.14)
“Watch same-sex couples marry in Muskegon County” (mlive.com – 3.22.14)
“Pastor Bill Freeman’s performance of same-sex marriages culmination of years of ministry, advocacy” (mlive.com – 3.22.14)
Environmental and reproductive justice work highlighted
A Unitarian minister in the Khasi Hills of India perseveres in the lonely work of opposing limestone mining in that region because of his people’s deep reverence for nature. He says he understands that their tribal culture makes it difficult for others to oppose fellow clan members and join him in this important work. (The New York Times – 3.19.14)
As the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in the contraception coverage case, Sebelius v Hobby Lobby Stores Inc., the Rev. Angela Herrera of First Unitarian Church of Albuquerque, N.Mex., shared with her congregation and the public her personal experience of once being in urgent need of contraception, in order to highlight the importance of having widespread access to these resources. (National Journal – 3.25.14)
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