Minutes in support of Same-Gender Marriage
Fresh Pond Meeting Minute on Same-Gender Marriage 1/9/94
A couple marries in response to their love for each other and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. True marriage represents the spiritual union of two hearts and is not dependent upon outward forms or legal recognition. The meeting cares for and celebrates the marriage relationship but it is God who sanctifies the marriage. We believe that the Divine Light illuminates all loving and committed relationships. We therefore affirm that we will take under our care the marriage of gay and lesbian Couples in the same manner that we do for heterosexual couples. We further undertake to support and nurture all families within our meeting whatever form that may take. We realize that this support will entail educating ourselves about the diverse needs of the families that comprise our community.
We recognize that the unity we have found on this issue is not shared by Friends everywhere. We cherish God’s spirit in others even if they are not in unity with us on this matter. We hope that Friends’ Continued search for guidance on this issue will not be a source of division but will lead to a deeper unity and love among all of us.
Minute in Response To The Current Dialogue About Same-Gender Marriage
April 4, 2004
God dwells within and speaks to every individual, and enlivens every relationship. A resting place in the Spirit is both a feature and a requirement for all committed relationships. The love shared in such true relationships is a gift from God, and cannot be legislated.
We are deeply saddened as some of our lawmakers attempt to define marriage as a union only of a man and a woman. Equally, the public debate on the civil rights of gay and lesbian individuals and Couples, which is important and necessary, feels deeply hurtful to all of us. It is especially painful to those among us whose rights, equality, and very humanity are being questioned So widely.
We pray that God will awaken in all of us an awareness of the privileges and responsibilities of God’s love. We are cognizant of the work to be done among Christians and the wider world to support and ensure that the rights taken for granted among heterosexual couples are provided to same-gender couples. We are challengec to speak up clearly to counter the language and assumptions of those who would limit these rights. We acknowledge that there are those in our community who are feeling marginalized and hurt, and give them our love, prayers, and support to them.
We also extend our prayers, too, to those who have been Speaking and Working against Same-gender marriage. We have faith that an earnest seeking of Divine Guidance will yield a closer experience of God and the love therein.
Our community has been deeply enriched by our process of discernment about same gender marriage. We continue to be enriched by openness to all individuals and couples: gay, lesbian, and heterosexual. Our 1994 minute supporting same-gender marriage speaks to us now as it did then.