Yours, Daniel
What Same Gender Marriage May Teach About Human Sexuality

To a discussion on same-gender marriage, I contributed this:

I was struck by the quote at the end of the article on Africa [submitted by someone else] saying that perhaps the Anglicans were led by God to ordain Bishop Robinson so as to raise the question of homosexuality in the church. I am struck too by how many there are among us Friends [Quakers] with experience of the Anglican community. Why might Spirit be doing this? What ministry might be coming to us?

Last year, when discussions of same-gender marriage again swept my own community, I realized that we Liberal Friends might be missing an important ministry by simply condemning conservative opinions as ignorant. What truth might be being expressed by those religious folks who oppose same-gender marriage and indeed anything to do with homosexuality? What is there here with which I might unify?

Conservatives of many traditions say that gay marriage redefines marriage. I think they may be right. I think they may be right, in fact, that we gay folks redefine society's understanding of sexuality and romantic love as well as marriage. I think this redefinition, or rather a returning to a more accurate understanding of why Spirit creates sexual and romantic drives, and why Spirit unites us in what some call marriage and some call "falling in love," is a ministry for us to take up.

I believe many people are under the mistaken belief that humans have sexual drive, romantic drive and an experience of marriage all in order to breed and raise children. Perhaps that fundamental belief about sex and love is mistaken -- for *all* human beings. In which case, no wonder they're scared: this isn't just about us queer folks, it's about everyone.

I've come to believe that Spirit creates sex, love and marriage in order to habituate us to powerful drives toward intimacy, and selfless jumps into faith. I believe Spirit does this to encourage us to make the same selfless jumps in faith toward Intimacy with Spirit and Divine Life. Isn't the drive toward sexual and romantic love perhaps the only one equal in power and scope to the drive to seek the Divine Spirit? Isn't the experience of falling in love the one human experience most similar to being visited by the Light?

If this concept is true, and the belief about it all existing to breed and raise children is false, then perhaps we have a call to free our conservative fellows from their false worship. Perhaps this is what we've been prepared for. Perhaps we who know love, sex and commitment as separate from the drive to have and care for children can point out that straight folks also have sex without desire for children, and that this may be Divinely ordained for specific reasons having to do with that singular desire of the Light's to have us live intimately with Him or Her or It or I.