The First LGBTQ Marriage - Parts 1 & 2

Derrick Kikuchi & Craig Wiesner

The First LGBTQ Marriage at First Presbyterian Church of Palo Alto

These two episodes are dedicated to the prophetic and often heroic efforts by people in the First Presbyterian Church of Palo Alto, a member of the Presbyterian Church (USA), to make this denomination a more welcoming and inclusive place for LGBTQ people. LGBTQ folk have been discriminated against in the church for decades and ostracized from membership, serving as deacons and elders as well as from ordained ministry and being prevented from getting married in the church, preventing them from having their relationships honored and recognized. Now many churches claim to be welcoming to LGBTQ people but are unwilling to proclaim that welcome quite the way that they have at the First Presbyterian Church of Palo Alto.
Derrick & Craig at their reception in the
First Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall

The nonprofit organization of More Light Presbyterians has been advocating for LGBTQ rights and inclusion for decades within the Presbyterian Church USA. And one of the first churches to become a More Light Church was the First Pres Church of Palo Alto. Their session approved that move in February of 1986. Because of the work of More Light Presbyterians and churches like First Presbyterian Church of Palo Alto and many individuals in the church, the denomination has moved from exclusion of LGBTQ people to full inclusion in ministry and marriage.
But in these two episodes we want to look back at the early days of this work. My guests are Derrick Kikuchi and Craig Weisner, two beloved gay members of the First Pres community and the Rev. Dr. Diana Gibson who is a close friend and was also their pastor for many years. 

You can find both parts of this important conversation and history here: Benders of the Arc Podcast

Below are a few pictures of the Session minutes from those days. Presbyterians are famous (or infamous) for taking copious notes and minutes and doing everything "decently and in order."
Session Notes showing who was present when the
church became a More Light Church in Feb 1986

Session Minutes showing discussion of
implementation plans
Session Minutes showing acceptance of the
More Light statement


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