This file contains minutes from Monthly and Yearly Meetings regarding same-sex unions. The list is far from complete; submissions of minutes not yet included are welcome. No attempt has been made to verify the accuracy of the minutes included in this file.

Last update: 1/24/98

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                Baltimore Monthly Meeting (Homewood)
                     (Baltimore Yearly Meeting)

First Minute, 1985:

     Baltimore Monthly Meeting [Homewood] wants to provide homosexual
couples the same corporate recognition and loving support of their
commitment that we provide heterosexual couples in marriage. Celebrations
of Commitment to be held under the care of the Meeting will be available
to homosexual couples who are in the Meeting upon Ministry and Counsel and
the Monthly Meeting finding clearness. 


Second Minute, January, 1990:

     The same term, marriage, will be utilized to designate the
celebrations of commitment for both heterosexual and homosexual
couples.
     The procedure for marriage under the care of the Meeting
outlined in Faith and Practice shall be followed for all couples
seeking clearness for marriage under the care of the Meeting.
Ministry and Counsel is asked to recommend a series of queries for all
couples regarding such topics as legal commitments, guardianship of
children/parents, and inheritance issues.
     The Meeting looks forward to the day when all married couples
will enjoy the full range of civil privileges and social acceptance.
     The Meeting takes seriously its commitment to couples under
its care, and it encourages them to turn to the Meeting for support
and counsel.

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                   Minute on Sexual Orientation
                    Northampton Friends Meeting
                    New England Yearly Meeting
                           June 9, 1996

Northampton Friends Meeting wishes to affirm that we extend to all members
of our community, whatever their sexual orientation, the same quality of
love and support. We are one community of faith; we experience the
varieties of love in our community as gifts of God. We affirm that we are
all children of God and that we all have the same potential to reflect the
Divine Light in our lives. 

Our faith underlies these affirmations:

First, concerning the spiritual basis of our beliefs, as a group our
hearts resonate deeply with the biblical injunctions to "love God" and to
"love your neighbor as yourself." We experience all forms of loving
relationships as manifestations of God's love on earth. 

Second, we believe that Friends' testimony on equality is central to our
Quaker faith. Just as Friends have historically witnessed for equality
among all races and both sexes, so do we now witness for equality among
people of all sexual orientations. We understand equality not as sameness
but as equality of respect. 

Third, we affirm that our sexuality and sexual identity are integral
components of who we are, not separate from who we are as spiritual
beings. For lesbian, gay and bisexual members of the community, this
allows for a wholeness of being, a feeling of personal unity within the
context of the community. We bring our whole selves to our relationship
with the Divine and find that sexuality within a loving relationship,
whether homosexual or heterosexual, has the potential to bring us closer
to God. 

We as a Meeting feel we have been blessed by the presence and
participation of lesbians, gays and bisexuals as individuals and, for
some, as partners in same sex couples. We are committed to providing
spiritual care and acceptance to all these individuals, believing that the
spiritual growth of each person best ripens in the context of a community
of faith and with the support and loving regard of that community.
Furthermore, we are committed to seeking out ways to actively provide that
love and support, being mindful of the oppression lesbians, gays and
bisexuals face in our society.

At the first Meeting for business of the newly formed Northampton Friends
Meeting in February, 1994, the following minute was joyfully adopted: 

                    Same Sex Marriage

     The Meeting affirms the goodness of committed, loving
     relationships and offers recognition and support to
     those who share this ideal and desire to enter into a
     permanent relationship based upon it. By tradition,
     the Meeting recognizes committed union in a celebration
     of marriage under the care of the Meeting.

     The same loving care and consideration will be given to
     both same-sex and heterosexual applicants as outlined
     in Faith and Practice.

     The Meeting shares a vision of a future that extends
     all the same rights to homosexual couples as are now
     enjoyed by heterosexual couples under the law. The
     Meeting's vision of marriage will not be complete until
     the unification of the legal and the spiritual is
     complete and available to all.

We recognize the additional difficulties faced by same sex couples in our
society and commit ourselves to remaining vigilant and informed in our
care of these couples. We further acknowledge that same sex marriages and
celebrations of commitment are taking place in the wider Quaker community. 
Should one of these couples move to our Meeting, we will support their
relationship as we would any other couple married under our care. 

The Meeting is committed to nurturing all of the families within its
community. We recognize that families composed of gay, lesbian or
bisexual parents and their children face additional difficulties in our
society. The Meeting hopes to be a safe haven for these families and
commits itself to providing special support to both the children and the
parents. We strive to help all the Meeting's children learn to value and
respect all individuals whatever their sexual orientation. For children
who grow to question their own sexual orientation or who believe
themselves to be gay, lesbian, or bisexual, the Meeting wishes to offer
support and affirmation. 

The Meeting commits itself to promoting acceptance, dignity and respect
for lesbian, gay and bisexual people. Lesbian, gay and bisexual people
are still struggling to be granted full civil and human rights in this and
in other societies.  We stand together in this struggle for justice. We
oppose social, economic, and legal discrimination and all forms of
violence against anyone based on sexual orientation. Heterosexual Friends
will thus share with lesbian, gay and bisexual Friends the responsibility
of protecting their safety and their rights. We are committed to carrying
out the spirit of this Minute within our own Meeting, within the larger
Quaker community and in the world at large. As a Meeting and as
individuals, we seek to heed the movement of the Spirit leading us to both
recognize and act to redress the array of affronts, injustices and
violence encountered by lesbians, gays and bisexuals. 

Through our collective struggle with issues related to gender and sexual
orientation, our Meeting has experienced much joy, much pain, and
important community and individual growth. In adopting this Minute, we
affirm our commitment to continue this important work. We trust that in
proceeding faithfully we will receive the gifts that all our ways of
loving bring and the clarity and strength to carry out our readings. 

--
[Addition comments:]

We have borrowed liberally the words and concepts expressed in the
writings of other Meetings. We used a compilation entitled "Minutes on
Same-Gender Marriage of Meetings in New England Yearly Meeting." We wish
to acknowledge with gratitude the following Meetings whose thoughts and
beliefs have contributed greatly to our Minute on Sexual Orientation: 

 Mt. Toby Monthly Meeting
 Beacon Hill Monthly Meeting
 Belfast (Maine) Monthly Meeting
 Storrs Monthly Meeting

Additionally, we were informed by written materials prepared as part of
our Meeting's previous considerations of lesbian and gay issues. The
statements on "equality" are taken from New England Yearly Meeting Faith
and Practice (p. 179) 

Northampton minute submitted by 
Bruce Hawkins
Northampton (Mass) Friends Meeting
War Tax Resistor -- support the Peace Tax Fund and conscientious resistors

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The following minute was contributed by Friend Dorothy Day.

from Minutes of the Meeting for Business of the
Urbana-Champaign Friends Meeting
16 Seventh Month, 1995

Meeting approved minuting our support for the Marriage Resolution drafted
by the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund. The Marriage Resolution:
Because marriage is a fundamental right under our Constitution, and
because the Constitution guarantees equal protection under the law,
RESOLVED, the State should permit gay and lesbian couples to marry and
share fully and equally in the rights and responsibilities of marriage. 

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The following minute was contributed by Friend Dorothy Day.

from Minutes of Illinois Yearly Meeting
100th Annual Sessions from July 31st to August 4th, 1974, inclusive

Illinois Yearly Meeting is aware that there is great diversity in the
relationships that people develop with one another. The worth of these
relationships must not be judged on the basis of conventionality but
rather to the degree that the relationship contributes to the growth of
love in those affected. 

Homosexual and bisexual people in this society are subject to serious
discrimination in many areas: in employment, housing, medical care, family
life education, parental rights, and the right to worship. We believe
sexual acts in private between consenting adults should be removed from
all criminal sanctions. Civil rights should be extended to protect
homosexual and bisexual people just as they now protect other groups which
suffer discrimination. We urge Friends and Friendly organizations to work
for appropriate legislation. 

Friends encourage everywhere the development of love and trust in human
relationships. In this light, we urge Friends to explore and examine their
knowledge and assumptions about sexuality, with special reference to
homosexuality, with a view to achieving awareness of the possibility and
potentials for growth, love, and trust in these and other intimate
relationships. 

[The minute] was approved, with expressions from Friends that discussion
on the topic should continue. 

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The following minute was provided by Anne Clauser:

"The Friends Meeting of San Antonio will consider requests for marriage
under its care under the customary marriage clearness procedure,
regardless of the sex or gender of the individuals involved."  (Approved
10/19/97)



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