Barnett, Jeanne and Ellie Charlton Collection

Span Dates: 1967-2003
Bulk Dates: 1999
Volume: 1 cubic foot


This collection includes documents and artifacts related to Jeanne Barnett and Ellie Charlton's Holy Union at the Sacramento Community Theater. Contents include correspondence, photographs, publications, newspaper clippings, ephemera, scrapbook, plaques, button badges, jackets, lapel pins, videocassettes and audiocassettes. Additional materials are related to the United Methodist Church Affirmation Council and Jeanne Barnett's memorial service on October 11, 2003.

Hist/Bio Note

Velma Jeanne Barnett was born on May 28, 1930 and was an active, lifelong Methodist. She and Ellie Charlton became partners and came out to the church community in the early 1980s. Jeanne and Ellie both became active advocates for full inclusion and rights for GLBT persons, through National Affirmation: United Methodists for LGBT Concerns and the California-Nevada Reconciling Conference Committee. Jeanne was appointed to the national United Methodist Committee to Study Homosexuality in 1988 as one of two openly gay/lesbian members. She served as one of the presenters of the Committee's report at the General Conference in 1992. She was subsequently elected a delegate to the 1996 General Conference--one of the few times an openly lesbian or gay person has served as an official delegate to this United Methodist quadrennial "congress." On October 4, 1998, the pastor of St. Mark's UMC, Don Fado, preached a sermon stating his intention to perform a public gay/lesbian commitment service with a number of other clergy participating. Jeanne and Ellie informed Fado of their interest in celebrating a Holy Union,which was celebrated on January 16, 1999, at the Sacramento Convention Center Theater with 1,200 guests and 95 clergy co-officiating. The ceremony received widespread TV and newspaper coverage. A video about the ceremony was produced and distributed. Over the following 18 months, Jeanne and Ellie traveled throughout the U.S. and were honored by a large number of church and GLBT groups.

Finding Aid

An online finding aid is available.


These materials are housed at the Center for Sacremento History.


Activist (religious institutions) | Barnett, Jeanne | Charlton, Ellie | Methodist (UMC, United Methodist Church) | Affirmation (United Methodist) | Marriage Equality | California | Sacramento