Chapter 22 » 22.45

Marriage and steadfast commitment

Celebration of commitment

We recognise that many homosexual people play a full part in the life of the Society of Friends. There are homosexual couples who consider themselves to be married and believe that this is as much a testimony of divine grace as a heterosexual marriage. They miss the public recognition of this in a religious ceremony even though this could have no legal significance.

We have found the word ‘marriage’ difficult but we are clear that we have a responsibility to support all members of our meetings and to uphold them in their relationships. We can expect that some committed homosexual couples will ask their meetings for a celebration of their commitment to each other. Meetings already have the means whereby meetings for worship can be held for this purpose but we recognise that many find this a difficult matter. The acceptance of homosexuality distresses some Friends.

Meetings may well find it easier to consider this matter in connection with specific relationships rather than in the abstract, but we believe that meetings may be helped if something of the exercise of this meeting is shared with them.

Meeting for Sufferings, 1987

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