Minute for Marriage Equality

Holding to our longstanding Testimonies of equality and integrity as they relate to justice for all peoples, we recognize the discomfort we feel when we provide civil marriage for straight couples but are unable to do the same for same-sex couples within the state of Minnesota.

The Quaker tradition is one of Spirit-led activism on behalf of civil rights
and justice. Given that a foremost civil rights issue today concerns the right for all couples to marry, regardless of gender, TCFM unites with a growing number of Quaker and other faith communities who are working for marriage equality.

We affirm the right for all caring couples to marry religiously and civilly.
TCFM is not against the right of the state to give legal sanction to marriage. Rather we are called to witness against the injustice of the system as currently practiced.

In light of this searching, and because we often learn God’s Truth based on direct experience, we recommend a period of testing the following actions.

That TCFM:

  1. Choose to lay aside for a period of three years–while still
    retaining–its legal right to perform the civil part of marriage;

In addition, TCFM will:

  1. Continue to provide clearness committees for all couples who request one for marriage;
  2. Continue to witness religious weddings in the manner of Friends, that is, bearing witness to God’s marriage of two people;
  3. Continue to take under its care all relationships and marriages that exist within the community;
  4. Continue to support all couples who seek civil marriage, regardless of the gender of the partners;
  5. Seek opportunities to bear witness outwardly until equal treatment under the law exist for all couples.

We search for ways to expand the rights of some couples without restricting the rights of others. In the midst of wrestling within our meeting and in our state, we support marriage equality for all caring, committed couples. We trust that by TCFM’s action and witness, we will help hasten progress toward marriage equality for all.

Approved by Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business Nov. 13, 2009.

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