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Ethics

The Challenge to be Sexual

In our culture individuals are often reluctant to relate sexuality and spirituality to one another or to discuss questions of sexual ethics because such discussions frequently deteriorate into condemnations and prohibitions. Explaining how we understand and use key terms in this document may therefore be helpful for the discussion we hope it will encourage.

SEXUALITY is the human ability to be attracted to one another and to enter into relationships by which we receive and give life.

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Section Two: Living and Growing as Sexual Christians

TAKING RISKS

Spiritual growth contains the responsibility to take risks. We risk when we speak and act without the encouragement and support of the wider community of faith. We risk when we state our experience despite those who reject it. We risk when we deepen our understanding in faith of that experience. We risk when we discern the truth of that experience even though the truth may challenge us to deal with our own differences and prejudices. Only by taking such risks can we commit ourselves to a fuller life as lesbian and gay Christians.

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How We Make Our Decisions

We ask ourselves not only how our spirituality and sexuality relate but also how we make ethical decisions regarding the physical expression of our sexuality. As we reflect together on our resources and criteria for making decisions, we discover that we frequently agree on the general criteria, the values we want to live by, even though we differ on the motivation for using them and the conclusions reached in applying them.

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Section One: The Experience of a Gay and Lesbian People of God

The Voice of the Oppressed

Invoking God's name, Church officials have forbidden us to live as God made us. They have told us to feel shame and guilt for who we are and what we do as sexual beings. They have commanded us not to speak of the truth that we know. The validity of our experience is denied — the most subtle and damaging form of oppression.

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