Keen News Service’s Dana Rudolph reports that “the United Church of Christ (UCC), the denomination to which President Barack Obama belonged for two decades, resoundingly approved two resolutions on July 5 in support of civil rights for LGBT people, including the first-ever resolution by a major Christian denomination affirming the right of LGBT parents to adopt and raise children.” The parenting measure passed in a unanimous vote and said that rearing children is ”a moral responsibility for families, the church and the community”:
It calls on the church ”to defend the rights of all children to have loving parents without regard to sexual orientation or gender expression, and to recognize a family to be any loving, nurturing, ethical relationship between a child and one or more parents.”
In addition, it calls on all states ”to evaluate prospective adoptive parents solely on the basis of their individual character and ability to parent, not on their sexual orientation or gender identity, and to grant second-parent or joint adoptions when it is in the child’s best interests.”
Only three states — Virginia, Mississippi, and Utah — still prohibit cohabiting same-sex couples from adopting children by excluding unmarried couples from the service. Last year, Florida stopped enforcing its explicit ban on adoptions by gay people “following a decision by a state appeals court that the three-decade-old law is unconstitutional,” and the Arkansas Supreme Court recently “upheld a lower court ruling that struck down the state’s ban on adoption and foster parenting by any person cohabiting with a sexual partner outside of marriage.”
The legal liberalization parallels the growing acceptance of LGBT civil rights, including same-sex marriage, or at least unions, in organized religious denominations and the United Church of Christ now joins Evangelical Lutherans, Episcopalians, and Presbyterians in recognizing LGBT people. A March ABC News/Washington Post poll found that 63 percent of white Catholics and 57 percent of non-evangelical white Protestants now support marriage equality — huge increases among both groups over the past decade. Overall, a majority of Americans now support same-sex marriage.