Freedom To Marry

The gay and non-gay partnership working to win marriage equality nationwide

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Voices of Equality: Thomas J.S. Mikelson

Rev. Thomas J.S. MikelsonRev. Thomas J.S. Mikelson is the Parish Minister of the First Church and First Parish of Cambridge-Unitarian Universalist in Cambridge, MA.

Since 1989 Rev. Mikelson has been the parish minister as well as a visiting lecturer at Harvard Divinity School. Prior to coming to the First Parish, he was the Minister of the Unitarian Universalist Society of Iowa City, Iowa from 1971 to 1983.

He is a graduate of Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa, the University of Chicago (Bachelor of Divinity 1963, Master of Arts 1968), and Harvard Divinity School (Doctor of Theology 1988).

Rev. Mikelson is a student of Martin Luther King, Jr., and is the author of published articles and speeches about Dr. King. He is currently working on a book about Dr. King. He has been interested for many years in the field of spiritual/alternative healing and is the author of articles on that topic.

Thomas Mikelson grew up in Iowa. He and his wife, Patricia Sheppard, moved to New England and Cambridge in 1983. They have four grown children and two sons-in-law.


"I always have supported the right to marry for same sex persons because I think the absence of that right is truly detrimental to traditional marriage and family. Same sex love and commitment are out in this culture and they are not going back in."

"We don't know at this point where the issue will go, but we do know that the issue of marriage equality is here to stay and that we Unitarian Universalists will be actively engaged in the issue until it is resolved, whether it takes a year or a hundred years. We entered this issue actively in 1970 and we have never turned away from it."

"Everywhere I look and mingle among friends, acquaintances, and colleagues, I hear from same-sex couples desires to have a home and a job, to pay taxes, raise children together, take meaningful roles in communities, enjoy mingling among their neighbors...take care of their elders, work in their welcoming churches, have dogs and cats, bake birthday cakes, take care of their lawns...the list goes on and on. The theme is clear, they want freedom to be part of the things that make for rich and stable shared life. They want what marriage, at its best, represents, a format for love, family, neighborliness, and participation in the larger community. Legal marriage for same sex couples will strengthen the social institution of marriage for everyone."


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