Religions and Spirituality

Press Releases

Unitarians Support Same-Sex Marriage

The Unitarian Church in Summit has voted to take a stand in favor of marriage equality and plans to unveil a banner on the front of its building on Sunday, December 9, to announce its support for full legal recognition of same-sex marriage.

The public is invited to attend the outdoor unveiling at 12:30 p.m. on the Springfield Avenue side of the congregation’s building at 4 Waldron Avenue. Clergy and lay members of the congregation will speak briefly about their views of what marriage means and why a change in state and federal marriage law is essential.

The banner will read “Say ‘I Do’ to Marriage Equality” and is being designed by graphic designers within the congregation. Members discussed the issue last June at the church’s annual meeting and voted to take the stand supporting marriage equality for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people.

Sign Up for E-News

“Marriage is a civil right," says the congregation's Senior Minister, the Rev. Vanessa Southern.  "Citizens of New Jersey who pay taxes and who are married under the eyes of their ministers and rabbis are being denied more than 1,100 rights simply because the law says they are of the wrong sex.  Our national standard of justice demands we do better."

The New Jersey Legislature passed a Marriage Equality bill last February, but Gov. Chris Christie vetoed the measure. Supporters in legislature have until January 14, 2014, to secure enough votes to override the veto.

The state has had a law providing for civil unions since 2006, but the Final Report of the New Jersey Civil Union Review Commission, established by the state legislature, found that the existing civil union and domestic partnership laws fail to achieve the constitutionally mandated equality of rights under New Jersey law. The New Jersey State Bar Association testified in agreement with the report.

Under federal law, the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act prevents the federal government from recognizing gay marriage and results in more far-reaching discrimination against same-sex couples, including the inability to qualify for insurance benefits for government employees, Social Security survivors’ benefits and the filing of joint tax returns. DOMA has been found unconstitutional in eight federal courts, including two federal appeals courts. The U.S. Supreme Court has been asked to review the cases and will decide soon whether it will do so.

“Full marriage equality is the only way to address the problem,” said Martin Rothfelder, chair of the committee that collected signatures to bring the marriage-equality issue before the congregation. “The civil union process now in place in our state has not and cannot provide equal legal rights even within New Jersey because of confusion, non-compliance and the federal Defense of Marriage Act.”

“The situation is even worse when New Jersey civil-unioned couples travel out of state,” adds Kimi Nakata, a member of the church’s board of trustees. “In most places, the civil union provides virtually nothing in terms of legal rights. Our state’s same-sex couples continue to face discrimination in rights regarding their children, inheritance, hospital visitation and a whole host of other circumstances that heterosexual couples take for granted.”

The Unitarian Church in Summit draws members from various religious and cultural backgrounds who join together in their individual quests for truth and meaning.  Its mission is to be a radically inclusive religious community that feeds the human spirit and heals the world. There is no creed or test of membership, but the community is bound together by principles, shared values and a desire to serve. We are a member congregation of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations. 

For further information, call the church at (908) 273-3245 or visit the website at www.ucsummit.org.

 

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

Honoring Sacrifice and Service on Memorial Day

May 25, 2018

On Monday, May 28, 2018, our Nation celebrates our most solemn event, Memorial Day.  In Berkeley Heights tradition, we will honor those who sacrificed themselves so that we may continue to live in the greatest country on earth.  I invite all residents to join us for the parade festivities and, most importantly, gather at our Veteran’s Park for a brief ceremony.

America has ...

Logic and Sensible Spending Take Priority

Logic.  It's what people use when endeavoring to complete things in the most sensible order.  Everyone knows that "logic" means sequencing events in a formulaic, predictable manner.  We learned this at a young age, as we observed Star Trek on TV and came to understand why Captain James T. Kirk relied on Spock as his first officer because his strategic plans were ...

I will draw on my experience to deliver a great future for Berkeley Heights

I am impressed with the day-to-day leadership of our Mayor and Town Council and I hope to help them continue to do great work. As I have been doing my research since deciding to run for a seat on our Town Council, I have learned a few things about all the work that has been happening in recent years.  For example, while plans for the Stratton House development were recently announced, our ...

How the Holi Color Festival Came to Summit; Event Planner Shares Her Story

May 21, 2018

Back in India, Holi was a holiday observed by almost all states. The holiday would be declared at all educational institutes and offices. It's a two day spring festival also known as the festival of colors. The festival signifies the victory of good over bad, the arrival of spring with the fragrance of flowers in the air and aura of warmth and happiness.

Holi festival is the time ...

Rain Didn't Dampen Our Vision for Art in the Park

The rain did not dampen our vision for Art in the Park!! Columbia Middle School was transformed into an art paradise, filled with an array of artists whose talents are nothing short of magical! The Peppertown Park Art in the Park Committee would like to thank all of the artists who came to our very first Art in the Park event. We are in awe of your creativity and immeasurable talents! You all ...

Union County College President Received Prestigious Award from Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society

May 26, 2018

CRANFORD – Union County College’s President Dr. Margaret M. McMenamin was one of 35 college presidents from throughout the nation to receive a Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction during PTK Catalyst 2018, the Society’s annual convention, in Kansas City, Missouri, held from April 19-21.

The award honors college presidents who have demonstrated ...

A Better Summer with the Y: Join by May 31 and Have Your Joiner Fee Waiver!

From now through the end of May, new members joining the Berkeley Heights YMCA will have their joiners fee waived, because at the Y we believe that everyone deserves to reach their health and wellness goals. With a savings of up to $95, you can focus on the perks of being a Berkeley Heights YMCA member:

Unlimited attendance to more than 100 group fitness classes a week
• State of ...

The New Providence 2018 Memorial Day Parade Begins at 10 a.m. on Monday, May 28

The Borough of New Providence and American Legion Post #433 invite all to attend this year’s Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 28, 2018.   The parade will begin at 10:00 a.m., rain or shine, at Springfield and Central avenues. Post 433 and the New Providence Community Activities Department have co-sponsored the town’s Memorial Day Parade for more than 65 years. The parade, ...

Fallout Continues from Lawsuit Against Mountainside; Police Chief on Administrative Leave

May 19, 2018

MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ – Police Chief Allan Attanasio is the latest member of the police department to suffer repercussions from a complaint filed against the borough on May 11.  Attanasio, who is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit, was “placed on administrative leave,” on Thursday by Borough Administrator and former Police Chief James Debbie, said  Lt. Joseph ...

Cycling Champ Laura Van Gilder Returns to Somerville Memorial Day to Defend Race Title

May 26, 2018

 

SOMERVILLE, NJ – Laura Van Gilder, 54-year-old cycling champion from Cresco, Pa., will return to defend her title at the 75th annual Tour of Somerville on Memorial Day, attempting an unprecedented fifth win in the 25-mile women's race, just one of several races that begin at 10:30 a.m..

The Kugler-Anderson Tour of Somerville, often referred to as the Kentucky Derby of ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, May 26, 9:00 AM

Miller-Cory House Museum, Westfield

Aunt Carrie's Attic Sale

Giving Back Other

Sat, May 26, 11:00 AM

Home For Good Dog Recue, Berkeley Heights,

Dog Adoption

Other

Sat, May 26, 2:00 PM

New Providence

Memoir Writing Workshops @ NPML

Arts & Entertainment

Thu, May 31, 11:30 AM

Canoe Brook Country Club, Summit

Fortnightly Club Scholarship Luncheon

Food & Drink Giving Back

Thu, May 31, 1:30 PM

Coppola Ristorante, New Providence

Lunch and Learn: Dental Implants and the ...

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_69a5db118db45d8f5de0_cabaret

Thu, May 31, 7:00 PM

Gov. Livingston Cafeteria, Berkeley Heights

Gov. Livingston Hilltop Players Host Annual Relay ...

The Evaluation of the College Search

It’s is a bizarre time of year as a college counselor as I find myself at both the beginning and end of this process.  Sophomores and juniors are excitedly and idealistically starting to consider what will be important to them in a school.  At the same time, while only separated by a year or two, my seniors have all committed within the past month to a school and have spent the ...

How to Design Your Ideal Retirement

Would you like to design your ideal retirement? Where do you begin? First of all, what does retirement mean to you? If you’re in a relationship, does retirement mean the same to you as it does to your partner? Do you know if your “ideal retirement” is affordable or just a pipe dream?

In past generations, retirement planning didn’t involve very much. You stopped work ...

Don’t Make These Three Mistakes About Social Security

Social Security has been around for decades and it’s not about to disappear. Why? Social Security is not an entitlement ("gift") that can be taken away - it’s a forced savings scheme that Americans pay into in their working years in order to secure a pension for life. Ideally, Social Security should not be your sole source of income in retirement but even comfortable ...