Minute: Easton Meeting on Sexual Orientation and Marriage

Easton Monthly Meeting

At our May 7 Meeting for Business, Easton Monthly Meeting endorsed the following Friends General Conference Minute:

Our experience has been that spiritual gifts are not distributed with regard to sexual orientation or gender identity. Our experience has been that our Gatherings and Central Committee work have been immeasurably enriched over the years by the full participation and Spirit-guided leadership of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer Friends. We will never go back to silencing those voices or suppressing those gifts. Our experience confirms that we are all equal before God, as God made us, and we feel blessed to be engaged in the work of FGC together.

We will continue to labor with our concerns about Friends United Meeting's staffing policy and hope to respond to it more directly in the future, as we see our way clear. Below is Easton Meeting's minute on marriage which we approved at our June 2003 Meeting for Business:

Easton Monthly Meeting affirms its willingness to solemnize celebrations of marriage for both same gender and opposite gender couples. It is the intent of Easton Meeting to follow the order of Friends as set forth in Faith & Practice of New York Yearly Meeting in arriving at clearness for all couples who are led to unite under the loving care of the Meeting.

This minute reflects more than three years of prayer and discussion; it was a difficult process. The work, however, brought us to unity in our intent to welcome men and women of diverse sexual orientations into the fellowship of our meeting. We hope that Friends United Meeting will find a way forward toward welcoming the participation, and affirming the gifts, of all those who are called to engage with them in their work.

In the Spirit,
Carol Kuhr
Margaret Waterson
Easton Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends