Cherokee Park United Church was an early supporter of LGBTQ rights in church and in society.
As part of its evolving commitment, the congregation affirms:
- officiating at and celebrating ALL weddings, including those of LGBTQ members
- electing members, of any sexual orientation or gender identity, as leaders
- calling pastors of any sexual orientation or gender identity
- baptizing children of all members who so desire
In living out this commitment, in recent years this church has:
- worked to legalize LGBTQ marriage in Minnesota
- marched in the Pride Parade
- sponsored a workshop with Rev. Lawrence Richardson on being a transgender ally
- welcomed anyone identifying along the spectrum of feminine identity to the women’s affinity group
- hosted Gadfly Theatre’s production of “Queer”
In the fall of 1997 the congregation adopted the following statement of “Affirmation and Inclusion”. Cherokee Park United Church is a community of faith gathered to proclaim and live the Good News of God in Christ. In Christ we are called to enter a new humanity free from the human barriers of race, ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability or any other basis by which our oneness in Christ is denied. We specifically affirm and welcome into the full life, worship and leadership of the church those who have been and are excluded by the barriers of human creation. We covenant with those congregations declaring themselves “More Light” (Presbyterian) and “Open and Affirming” (United Church of Christ) as we give witness to God’s just and life giving Realm in the church and in the world.
In October of 2011, Cherokee Park United Church passed a marriage equality policy, voting affirmatively that marriage is a covenant made in the presence of God between two people, regardless of their gender or sexual orientation. The policy stated that “the Covenanted Community of Cherokee Park United Church believes the current civil marriage policies are discriminatory to members of our community and that, at least until those policies are corrected, Cherokee Park United Church will no longer perform civil marriages as an agent of the State of Minnesota”. The congregation continued to perform religious ceremonies without regard to sexual orientation.
The congregation actively worked to defeat a constitutional amendment prohibiting LGBTQ marriages. The congregation also worked in support of the legislatively passed law making LGBTQ marriages legal in the state of Minnesota. With the passage of the law, the congregation and its pastor now offer both civil and religious ceremonies for all those who are married at Cherokee Park United Church.