The Celebration and Affirmation of
a Covenant Relationship
Episcopal Diocese of Rochester’s Department of Social Ministries
The celebration and affirmation of same gender couples are offered as an opportunity for persons of homosexual orientation to participate in faithful relationships. The support of significant same gender friendships and committed relationships
is essential for the well being of gay and lesbian persons.
Biblical theology and Christian tradition support the basic need of all persons to have a wholesome, intimately affectionate, and long term relationship with another person. This reality goes far deeper than sexual orientation. Basic Christian compassion presses us to affirm and support this tenet of health and wholeness for all persons. Thus, the church is called upon to celebrate and affirm friendships, marriages, and same gender commitments for both the spiritual and human health of the people of God.
By tradition and theological precept, couples are themselves the ministers of their covenants. By the grace of God these couples aspire to be life long and faithful in mutuality and support through their covenant. The church celebrates and affirms that which already exists. It is the two persons who minister to each other and bless God — that is, give thanks to God for their mutual love and their covenant with one another. Considering these principles, the church is not called upon to endorse or bless sexual orientation. The church, however, does act appropriately and for the good of the people of God when the church upholds and celebrates, in the name of Jesus Christ, any two person who are willing to make a life long covenant of fidelity and love with each other.