Minute on Same Gender Marriage
As a spiritual community, Quakers understand marriage as a deep and sacred commitment undertaken by two people in the presence of the Spirit and the faith community who take the new family under their care. The Montana Gathering of Friends (Quakers) affirms that the intrinsic value and the spiritual basis of marriage are the same regardless of the gender of the partners. This is in keeping with the historic Quaker testimony of equality and the belief that there is that of God in everyone.
A government does not create a marriage, it recognizes a commitment. A legally recorded marriage contract confers important legal rights and privileges as well as responsibilities from which unmarried couples are excluded. The exclusion of same gender couples is actually a deprivation of rights, inconsistent with the basic law of the land as well as Friends’ beliefs. Any governmental act that removes or restricts the rights of any one group is a deliberate attack on the foundation of our society, on our inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The Constitution is intended to limit the power of the government, not the rights of the people.
Montana Quakers support the legal recognition of the union of marriage between two consenting adults. We oppose any attempt to place legal limits on such recognition, whether at the local, state, or federal level such as the proposed Montana Constitutional Amendment 96 restricting marriage to the union of one man and one woman which will be on the ballot in November.
God’s creation continually presents itself to us afresh. One aspect of the creation is our sexuality. Our aspiration as Quakers is, humbly, to open ourselves to the ongoing creation, to nurture, serve, and celebrate it. We urge the citizens of our state to be courageous in affirming God’s creation and to recognize that fear and excessive desire for control can cause us to reject what we should celebrate and affirm.
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When MGOF finds itself called as a body to witness, a Minute of that testimony is recorded and distributed.