James Stoll

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James Lewis Stoll (January 18, 1936 – December 8, 1994) was a Unitarian Universalist minister who became the first ordained minister of an established denomination in the United States or Canada to come out as gay. He did so at the annual Continental Conference of Student Religious Liberals on September 5, 1969 at the La Foret Conference Center near Colorado Springs, Colorado.[1][2][3]

He led the effort that convinced the Unitarian Universalist Association to pass the first-ever gay rights resolution in 1970. He founded the first counseling center for gays and lesbians in San Francisco. In the 1970s he established the first hospice on Maui. He was president of the San Francisco chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union in 1990s. He died at the age of 58 from complications of heart and lung disease, exacerbated by obesity and a lifelong smoking habit.[4]

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  1. ^ Mark Oppenheimer (2010-09-18). "Beliefs - Recalling a Haunted Cleric and Neglected Gay Rights Pioneer". NYTimes.com. Retrieved 2012-07-25. 
  2. ^ Oppenheimer, Mark (July 1996), "The Inherent Worth and Dignity": Gay Unitarians and the Birth of Sexual Tolerance in Liberal Religion", Journal of the History of Sexuality, University of Texas Press, 7 (1): 73–101, JSTOR 3840443 
  3. ^ Oppenheimer, Mark (2003), Knocking on Heaven's Door: American Religion in the Age of Counterculture, Yale University Press, p. 30, ISBN 0-300-10024-8 
  4. ^ Bond-Upson, Leland (2005-01-09), My Greatly Human Hometown Minister—James Lewis Stoll, 1936-1994, archived from the original on February 17, 2005, retrieved 2007-09-24 

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